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mmorpgs should NOT be balanced

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Comments

  • TiamatRoarTiamatRoar Member RarePosts: 1,686

    The OP postulates that imbalance is part of the world building. However, this assumes that imbalance is tied to the story or what makes storyline-sense.

     

    It never is.

     

    Thus you end up with ridiculous things like how in Marvel Heroes, a normal human being that uses guns (Punisher) is stronger than a cosmic galactic being that surfs through space and wields the energy of the cosmics, itself (Silver Surfer)

     

    I can't recall the last time an MMO PURPOSEFULLY had an imbalance that was tied to the storyline. Maybe Starwars Galaxies with its Jedi?

     

    Until MMORPGs actually PURPOSEFULLY create imbalance because it fits in with the world and the story, the entire original post's point is moot and irrelevant.  Currently, in every MMO, the imbalances exist not because the devs wanted to, but because of unintended design flaws and unforeseen consequences.  If anything, because of this, most imbalances in most MMOs are HIGHLY JARRING AND BREAK THE SUSPENSION OF BELIEF (again, Punisher vs Silver Surfer, as an example), and thus imbalance actually works AGAINST what the OP is asking for (World building and immersion).

     

    (of course, the imbalance that existed on purpose in Star Wars Galaxies led to a whole slew of other issues, many of which could be seen from a mile away if you actually think about it, which is probably why most MMOs aren't crazy enough to try such a thing today)

  • KanethKaneth Member RarePosts: 2,286
    Originally posted by jdlamson75
    Originally posted by Kaneth
     

    Well this part of your post is pretty inflammatory and flat out wrong. Wanting class balance has nothing to do with entitlement, it has everything to do with good game design. If you have a mmo with 10 different classes, only 1 is good at tanking, only 1 is good at healing and one is far and away the best dps then you create a 3 class game. Now if all classes had the ability to specialize in any role and all performed each role at a more or less equal capacity, but each class/role had some specialized niche, then you would have a 10 class game.

    Additionally, I wouldn't say that your views are out dated or even old fashioned, but rather they stem from a narrow point of view and one that lacks at looking at the bigger picture.

    I would say that if all classes had the ability to do everything equally as well as each other, you've just created a game with one class and multiple skins.

    Not necessarily. If have a game where a warrior tank uses a shield to mitigate damage, but a rogue tank uses evasion, then you've created two classes who can do a job equally but with different niches. You could create healers who heal people directly, but also have healers who healing ability stems from them dealing damage to mobs themselves. It's a similar difference between a sustained damage dps vs. dot based dps vs. high burst dps. All can perform equally, but all also have their particular niche.

    Much of what I am stating already exists in many mmos as well and you see a good amount of class diversity within those games. Class diversity will always shift due to player boredom, flavor of the month chasers, altoholics or via class changes introduced by the dev team.

  • Stone_FountainStone_Fountain Member UncommonPosts: 233

    A warrior trains his entire life to stand toe to toe with his enemies. His body is a machine capable of taking the punishment monsters can dish out and with a hardened skin around him he can stick it out until the battle has ended. A rogue spends his time stalking, hiding, moving quietly, spying, stealing etc. And to employ his arts he needs to wear the armor that allows him to do these things well. He is quick so he can avoid some damage but his skills are better suited in seeking out the soft spots of an enemy when the enemy is otherwise distracted. I do not much care for games that try to make all classes relatively the same. In a duel without distractions, a rogue will get his ass handed to him by a warrior as it should be. Sure the rogue could employ tricks but if the warrior is not falling for them, in most cases, a rogue should be toast. 

     

    IN PVP games though, AOE and range is king. IN AA though they gave melee fighters closing abilities which made them king. And as a result, most PVPers played the same kind of classes if they wanted to do well. Leap, stun lock and kill, rinse, repeat. PVP does not belong in an MMORPG. The classes become muddled and toon balance is constantly being adjusted. 

    First PC Game: Pool of Radiance July 10th, 1990. First MMO: Everquest April 23, 1999

  • MaquiameMaquiame Member UncommonPosts: 1,073
    Originally posted by Fearum
    Originally posted by psychobgr
    Originally posted by Tracho12

    I agree with you OP but in the context that MMO PvP is an old dinosaur that needs to be put down.

     

    As the gaming industry gets older and more popular, more and more niche genres and titles are emerging.  There are simply better genres out there for competitive players looking for a human challenge. MOBAs, OCGs, and Survival games have just blown up over the last few years to go along with the classic FPS titles.

     

    If I was to ask an objective non-bias gamer what the best player vs player titles are out there, how long do you think it would be before that player got to an MMO? LoL, Dota2, CSGO, SC2, HS, DayZ, H1Z1, WoT, Smite, HotS, and those are just PC titles. 

     

    The only true form of PvP that MMOs do better than any other is the DAoC massive war-style battle arena but really do they do it better than the other genres or have the other genres just not tried to emulate it yet? Really we've only had 1 attempt at a massive war style game outside of classic MMOs and that was PlanetSide.  Perhaps, the technology isn't there yet because both GW2 and ESO have massive lag issues with their grand style conquest.

     

    That's my opinion anyway. I think MMOs would be a lot better off if they dropped PvP entirely and focused on PvE.

    I agree with this. Maybe separate pvp that doesn't effect pve. Most of the nerfing is pvp centered.

    Horrible idea, I think if the game isn't designed around being either PvE or PvP the mess that comes from trying to do both is doomed from the start.

    The bad examples of PvP added to these themepark games as just another ride  to grind up has not been going well. Games that are designed around PvP as the main feature set will always be better at it than games that have it as an added feature.

    I disagree, the problem lies in the lack of dedicated pve and pvp roles a player could choose from at the start of the game. The second problem is the lack of interdependability for pvp and pve. Meaning that the game world should be nation based pvp players are the military, pve players are the resource gatherers, monster hunters and crafters. The military mainly fights against other military (other pvpers) letting the pve players do what they want to do but making the two groups of players dependent on each other.  You're a pve player who doesn't want nasty pvp players raining on your parade? Open one hell of a weaponsmith and make weapons for the pvp based military for your country. IE: You are arming your military so that they can do the things you don't want to and vice versa.

    image

    Any mmo worth its salt should be like a good prostitute when it comes to its game world- One hell of a faker, and a damn good shaker!

  • KefoKefo Member EpicPosts: 4,229
    Originally posted by Stone_Fountain

    A warrior trains his entire life to stand toe to toe with his enemies. His body is a machine capable of taking the punishment monsters can dish out and with a hardened skin around him he can stick it out until the battle has ended. A rogue spends his time stalking, hiding, moving quietly, spying, stealing etc. And to employ his arts he needs to wear the armor that allows him to do these things well. He is quick so he can avoid some damage but his skills are better suited in seeking out the soft spots of an enemy when the enemy is otherwise distracted. I do not much care for games that try to make all classes relatively the same. In a duel without distractions, a rogue will get his ass handed to him by a warrior as it should be. Sure the rogue could employ tricks but if the warrior is not falling for them, in most cases, a rogue should be toast. 

     

    IN PVP games though, AOE and range is king. IN AA though they gave melee fighters closing abilities which made them king. And as a result, most PVPers played the same kind of classes if they wanted to do well. Leap, stun lock and kill, rinse, repeat. PVP does not belong in an MMORPG. The classes become muddled and toon balance is constantly being adjusted. 

    All this. You always see it. The game might start out with all classes being equal in their own regard but then comes the whining about how this class can do this better than they can in PVP. Then the "balance" starts coming to try and even out the PVP side of the game but in the meantime you are completely obliterating the classes identity in PVE.

    In the end you wont end up hanging onto any large amount of a PVP crowd since their favourite class gets the nerf bat constantly and you alienate the PVE players who are your core audience.

  • PhaenPhaen Member UncommonPosts: 53
    Originally posted by Tracho12

    I agree with you OP but in the context that MMO PvP is an old dinosaur that needs to be put down.

    That's my opinion anyway. I think MMOs would be a lot better off if they dropped PvP entirely and focused on PvE.

    I Agree with the OP and the sentiments as quoted, but it all comes down to the game itself. PvE games should be diverse role group based where balance isn't as important as the diversity of abilities.  The problem I see in modern "MMO's" is its solo play so everybody wants to be as good or capable as everyone else. If everybody classes had unique skills then they would be required for what they could do rather than the best tank, dps healer classes available.

    The second point is PvP MMO's should be just that, more balanced, action based PvP focused games. ESO is a good example of this, balance is important otherwise everybody wants to play the same class and build.

    These days I get my PvP fix from ESO and PvE from FFXIV.

  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 18,719

    Every class needs to have sufficient ability to solo content...period. And they need to have comparable efficiency in doing so. This is the single reason why classes have become progressively more homogenized over the years.

     

    It happened slowly in WOW but it was done much more deliberately there in the Ctaclysm expansion. It was very noticeable with Protection Paladins when they got their high AOE DPS shield throw.

     

    I know that purist like to say that MMOs are for grouping but I would love to see an honestly answered poll of gamers who play MMOs >20 hrs/week on what % of their play time they play solo vs. grouped. I suspect the answer would show that most of us solo more than twice as much as we group.

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  • MalaboogaMalabooga Member UncommonPosts: 2,977
    Originally posted by Stone_Fountain

    A warrior trains his entire life to stand toe to toe with his enemies. His body is a machine capable of taking the punishment monsters can dish out and with a hardened skin around him he can stick it out until the battle has ended. A rogue spends his time stalking, hiding, moving quietly, spying, stealing etc. And to employ his arts he needs to wear the armor that allows him to do these things well. He is quick so he can avoid some damage but his skills are better suited in seeking out the soft spots of an enemy when the enemy is otherwise distracted. I do not much care for games that try to make all classes relatively the same. In a duel without distractions, a rogue will get his ass handed to him by a warrior as it should be. Sure the rogue could employ tricks but if the warrior is not falling for them, in most cases, a rogue should be toast. 

     

    IN PVP games though, AOE and range is king. IN AA though they gave melee fighters closing abilities which made them king. And as a result, most PVPers played the same kind of classes if they wanted to do well. Leap, stun lock and kill, rinse, repeat. PVP does not belong in an MMORPG. The classes become muddled and toon balance is constantly being adjusted. 

    PvP is the real mmoRPG, PvE is just hack&slash diablo-like grinder.

    And this nonsense of huge imbalances....yeah right. Some people never learn, but i guess they were on top of food chain back then. And now are crying because their whole playstyle (always playing OPest class) has been dumped.

    Its just one huge "dont nerf me bro" whine.

  • YashaXYashaX Member EpicPosts: 3,098
    Originally posted by preston326

    Hi, I see recurring complaint amongst mmorpg players which is that [insert mmorpg name] is unbalanced. Of course I understand why this is an issue to some players (PvP comes to mind first) but I think that mmorpgs should NOT be balanced. I know it's very unpopular opinion but there's why I think so. 

    When people say balanced they usually mean equal to or as good as other classes/races but that completely takes away all the flavour from playing mmoRPG. Mmorpgs are supposed to be living, breathing and diverse worlds where people can adventure and discover. By making everyone the same we just make that world completely bland and sterile. RPG games no longer have that RPG flavour when healer is dishing out almost the same damage as your two-handed warrior. If you make conscious chose to be caster why would you expect to have close range survivability on par with warior’s? If you chose to go with cleric class why do you expect is’s dps tree to be as strong as rogues?

    That really battles me and only reason I can come up with is our “entitlement complex” which is seeping into video games. Yes, you are entitled to be threated equality well as other people IRL but that doesn’t mean you are entitles to do equal dps as other classes. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s the only reason I can come up with.

    Another thing that people mean when they say balanced is that given class should perform equality well as other class in solo content or 1v1 battles. Which again is utter nonsense! Mmorpgs are not build (well they weren’t back in the day) for solo content or 1v1 battles. They are built for people playing together. Classes should have weaknesses that are compensated by your party/raid members’ strengths. Isn’t its boring when everyone in the raid are dishing same amount of damage while also self-healing as if they were clerics?

    Maybe my views are very old fashioned and outdated but I really miss the days when it was acceptable to have some classes faction-locked or when I would be awesome at healing but suck at dps as Priest. Adventuring with your party felt so much more interesting… What do you guys think about this? Am I the only one who doesn’t like all classes being the same?

    The details of your post indicate that either you do not understand what complaints about balance are or you are talking to people who have a very strange idea of balance. Indeed what you have talked about as good design is actually what I would consider balance.

    In general people who want balance are talking about fair trade-offs. For example a healer should not be able to do lots of damage, a burst class should not be able to take lots of damage. When one class can simultaneously do several things better, or comparatively as well as a specialized class there is a balance issue. Or when one class is far better than another class at a specific role that both classes are meant to fill, there is a balance problem.

    I have never actually seen people complain about balance in the sense that you describe it above, that would clearly be illogical. 

    ....
  • AntiquatedAntiquated Member RarePosts: 1,415
    Originally posted by preston326

    However, I’m saying that in RPG games it is actually good choice because it makes game more alive and makes you rely more on other players. 

    Any sort of objective criteria in your design choices?

     

  • ReklawReklaw Member UncommonPosts: 6,495
    Originally posted by preston326

    Hi, I see recurring complaint amongst mmorpg players which is that [insert mmorpg name] is unbalanced. Of course I understand why this is an issue to some players (PvP comes to mind first) but I think that mmorpgs should NOT be balanced. I know it's very unpopular opinion but there's why I think so. 

    When people say balanced they usually mean equal to or as good as other classes/races but that completely takes away all the flavour from playing mmoRPG. Mmorpgs are supposed to be living, breathing and diverse worlds where people can adventure and discover. By making everyone the same we just make that world completely bland and sterile. RPG games no longer have that RPG flavour when healer is dishing out almost the same damage as your two-handed warrior. If you make conscious chose to be caster why would you expect to have close range survivability on par with warior’s? If you chose to go with cleric class why do you expect is’s dps tree to be as strong as rogues?

    That really battles me and only reason I can come up with is our “entitlement complex” which is seeping into video games. Yes, you are entitled to be threated equality well as other people IRL but that doesn’t mean you are entitles to do equal dps as other classes. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s the only reason I can come up with.

    Another thing that people mean when they say balanced is that given class should perform equality well as other class in solo content or 1v1 battles. Which again is utter nonsense! Mmorpgs are not build (well they weren’t back in the day) for solo content or 1v1 battles. They are built for people playing together. Classes should have weaknesses that are compensated by your party/raid members’ strengths. Isn’t its boring when everyone in the raid are dishing same amount of damage while also self-healing as if they were clerics?

    Maybe my views are very old fashioned and outdated but I really miss the days when it was acceptable to have some classes faction-locked or when I would be awesome at healing but suck at dps as Priest. Adventuring with your party felt so much more interesting… What do you guys think about this? Am I the only one who doesn’t like all classes being the same?

    I am with you on your OP fully.

    Yet I don't expect think a un-balanced MMORPG would work with today's community.

    I think there are some of us who want to step into a MMORPG that feels like a virtual world, mimicking certain real life way's of living within that world. 

    But think most just want to login to a MMORPG and just a have fun in a game way aslong they can acces all content there for for the masses these games have to be balanced. Nothing wrong with that though it might be the reason why we most likely not see another "un-balanced" MMORPG where people need to rely on others other then the obvious trinity setting.

  • xeraxxerax Member UncommonPosts: 74

    I am with the Op.

    Highly specialized individual that can come  together to make an awesome team and then really hard content. I know its not what the majority want but there should be room for it.

    Instead I see more and more solo friendly games with more and more easy to balance marginal abilities. I think how fun an Eq1 enchanter was to play not seen anything like it since.

    Otherwise all clasess get more and more equal until the only differnce is the skin.

  • EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,249

    OP, I will repost a thread I have did a few months ago. It's about what balance really is in regards to class design. Enjoy...

     

    I have had multiple conversations when playing WoW or EQ of what players believe class balance is. Here are some of the common comments regarding the matter. I think this would make an interesting discussion...

    "Class balance means all of the classes are the same which would make gameplay boring." 

    or

    "There is no such thing as class balance or if there is class balance it can never be achieved."

    The above comments are not true and I'll explain further of what class balance really means. 

    Rarely, I'll see this comment...

    "Class balance means when each class has an opportunity to compete." 

    The above comment is very close to what Class Balance really is but it's not complete. However, it should read like this...

    "Class balance means when each class has an opportunity to compete within their archetype."

    ***Disclaimer*** This discussion is about basic class balance in regarding to the "trinity" of class design. This discussion has nothing to do with "I hate classes or why classes are bad". I am also fully aware there are other avenues to take class design and class balance in accordance to those classes.  Also this explanation is on a very basic level to show you what class balance is.

     

    How to achieve Class Balance?

    Class Balance is more or less a bottom up approach that is balanced within layers. Each layer of balance should complement the previous layer for consistency. Essentially, there are three layers of when you balance classes. Below I'll explain them a little further.

     

    Layer 1: Define the Archetype (Role)

    This layer is the foundation for all of your classes. You determine what are the primary roles of classes you want to fit into gameplay. I'll keep it easy and say that Tanking, DPS, and Healing are primary roles. I won't go into secondary roles because this thread will turn into a novel. I want to try and keep this as simple as possible. 

    Once the archetype (roles) are defined then you establish the rule set for those roles. On as basic level we'll do damage to mitigation ratio. 

    Tank: Moderate Damage output and Moderate Mitigation

    Caster DPS: High Damage output and Low Mitigation

    Melee DPS: High Damage output (sliver below Caster DPS) and Medium Low Mitigation (Sliver above Caster DPS)

    Healers: Low Damage output and High Mitigation via Heals. 

    There are other things that go into defining the role and other rule sets that would compliment whatever design is being used. So once Layer 1 is defined and balanced you move onto Layer 2. 

     

    Layer 2A: Balance Classes within their Archetype (role).

    This layer is only used if you have more than 1 class within the defined roles from Layer 1. 

    If there are 3 classes within each archetype (tank, Caster DPS, Melee DPS, Healers), you then balance those classes within their respective archetype. Meaning that each tank has an equal opportunity to tank efficiently. This does not constitute all tanks will be the same. There should be different  path ways to tank for each class in a unique and fun way. Whatever those paths are should be up the creative mind of the class designer. 

     

    Layer 2B: Pure Classes vs. Hybrid Classes

    Also in Layer 2 you would determine what classes would be Pure and what classes would be Hybrid. Let me define those.

    Pure Class: A class in which can only perform 1 role 

    Hybrid Class: A class in which can perform more than 1 role. (usually 2 roles). 

    Most of the time you'll see more hybrid classes than pure classes to give the player more of a creative choice to choose from. 

    In this layer you could already break the class design before you even get to Layer 3 because of Hybrid Classes. Hybrid Classes are very tricky because they can't be as powerful as a Pure Class and yet they must still be valuable to a group. 

    Usually Hybrid classes are the soloable classes if the gameplay is focused on group based content. 

    I think a good direction to balance hybrid classes with pure classes is to allow Hybrid classes to act as a support class in a way. What I mean is, if a Hybrid Class can perform 2 roles, DPS and Healing, then reduce those roles by 30%. Meaning that if a Pure DPS and a pure Healer class can DPS and Heal 100%, then a Hybrid class can DPS and Heal at 70%. This way a Hybrid class is still effective and valuable in a group. They act as support DPS and Healing. 

    A Hybrid class should NEVER EVER be on par with a Pure Class because of their multiple roles. If a Hybrid class is on par with a Pure class then more than likely those pure classes will become obsolete. They won't be as valuable. 

    Ask you self this question. If a Mage is a pure DPS class that can do on par damage as a Sorcerer that can also heal, which class do you think would have a better chance at being more effective? As you can see this is an imbalance. 

     

    Layer 3: Skill/Ability/Spell Balance & HP/Mana Balance

    This is the top layer of class balance and always the most tricky. There are tons of variables because each class has a unique set of abilities to perform.  Layer 3 is more than likely the layer most will spend time balancing their classes. A good design would keep in mind the following two layers and design abilities that won't go against those rule sets already established. 

    Also in Layer 3 you would determine when a class gets an ability when progressing. For an example, if a Warrior had Deadly Strike at level 1 that did 10 damage and a mob at level  one had an ability that did 10 damage where both of you had 100 HP. Whoever struck first would win. So then you would adjust damage/HP/Mana levels accordingly and add in more abilities to make it fun and balanced in gameplay. 

    As you can see Layer 3 has a lot of variables to consider. Usually, this is one of the places where class balance can become imbalance. 

    Penalty. This is another way to balance very over powering abilities a class may have. Try and have the player to strategically use more powerful abilities instead of using them at their leisure. 

    Also in Layer 3 you would compliment whatever combat mechanics you have to balance your classes with that. 

    Layer 3 should also consist of player testing and tweaking to everything mentioned above. 

     

    What does Class Balance Mean? Can it be achieved?

    Yes Class Balance can be achieved. Before I go on let me tell you what class balance is not. Class Balance does not constitute that all classes are the same with the same abilities or roles. 

    Class Balance is when your archetypes (roles) are balanced and the classes within those archetypes are balanced with each other. All classes within that archetype have an equal opportunity to be as effective. That if more than 1 class within an archetype should have different functions to perform their desired role to have a good diversity of classes. 

    If a Hybrid class is more effective then a Pure class then that is not class balance but an imbalance.

    Layer 3 with different abilities may sway classes to be tweaked more than others, but if the design stays true to Layer 1 and Layer 2, it should make Layer 3 a bit easier to tweak. 

    I hope this made sense and I wanted to break this down as simple as I could.

  • QuirhidQuirhid Member UncommonPosts: 6,230

    I feel that the only person who can be against good balance is someone who doesn't understand what balance means, so here are a few links for you to read.

     

    "If a game is fun despite being imbalanced, that's great, but do not make the mistake of thinking that it's fun because it's imbalanced." -Keith Burgun, Understanding Balance in Video Games

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/134768/understanding_balance_in_video_.php?print=1

     

    Something to read also:

    Sirlin's Balancing Multiplayer Games

    http://www.sirlin.net/articles/balancing-multiplayer-games-part-1-definitions

    http://www.sirlin.net/articles/balancing-multiplayer-games-part-2-viable-options

    http://www.sirlin.net/articles/balancing-multiplayer-games-part-3-fairness

    http://www.sirlin.net/articles/balancing-multiplayer-games-part-4-intuition

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • Stone_FountainStone_Fountain Member UncommonPosts: 233
    Originally posted by Eronakis

    OP, I will repost a thread I have did a few months ago. It's about what balance really is in regards to class design. Enjoy...

     

    I have had multiple conversations when playing WoW or EQ of what players believe class balance is. Here are some of the common comments regarding the matter. I think this would make an interesting discussion...

    "Class balance means all of the classes are the same which would make gameplay boring." 

    or

    "There is no such thing as class balance or if there is class balance it can never be achieved."

    The above comments are not true and I'll explain further of what class balance really means. 

    Rarely, I'll see this comment...

    "Class balance means when each class has an opportunity to compete." 

    The above comment is very close to what Class Balance really is but it's not complete. However, it should read like this...

    "Class balance means when each class has an opportunity to compete within their archetype."

    ***Disclaimer*** This discussion is about basic class balance in regarding to the "trinity" of class design. This discussion has nothing to do with "I hate classes or why classes are bad". I am also fully aware there are other avenues to take class design and class balance in accordance to those classes.  Also this explanation is on a very basic level to show you what class balance is.

     

    How to achieve Class Balance?

    Class Balance is more or less a bottom up approach that is balanced within layers. Each layer of balance should complement the previous layer for consistency. Essentially, there are three layers of when you balance classes. Below I'll explain them a little further.

     

    Layer 1: Define the Archetype (Role)

    This layer is the foundation for all of your classes. You determine what are the primary roles of classes you want to fit into gameplay. I'll keep it easy and say that Tanking, DPS, and Healing are primary roles. I won't go into secondary roles because this thread will turn into a novel. I want to try and keep this as simple as possible. 

    Once the archetype (roles) are defined then you establish the rule set for those roles. On as basic level we'll do damage to mitigation ratio. 

    Tank: Moderate Damage output and Moderate Mitigation

    Caster DPS: High Damage output and Low Mitigation

    Melee DPS: High Damage output (sliver below Caster DPS) and Medium Low Mitigation (Sliver above Caster DPS)

    Healers: Low Damage output and High Mitigation via Heals. 

    There are other things that go into defining the role and other rule sets that would compliment whatever design is being used. So once Layer 1 is defined and balanced you move onto Layer 2. 

     

    Layer 2A: Balance Classes within their Archetype (role).

    This layer is only used if you have more than 1 class within the defined roles from Layer 1. 

    If there are 3 classes within each archetype (tank, Caster DPS, Melee DPS, Healers), you then balance those classes within their respective archetype. Meaning that each tank has an equal opportunity to tank efficiently. This does not constitute all tanks will be the same. There should be different  path ways to tank for each class in a unique and fun way. Whatever those paths are should be up the creative mind of the class designer. 

     

    Layer 2B: Pure Classes vs. Hybrid Classes

    Also in Layer 2 you would determine what classes would be Pure and what classes would be Hybrid. Let me define those.

    Pure Class: A class in which can only perform 1 role 

    Hybrid Class: A class in which can perform more than 1 role. (usually 2 roles). 

    Most of the time you'll see more hybrid classes than pure classes to give the player more of a creative choice to choose from. 

    In this layer you could already break the class design before you even get to Layer 3 because of Hybrid Classes. Hybrid Classes are very tricky because they can't be as powerful as a Pure Class and yet they must still be valuable to a group. 

    Usually Hybrid classes are the soloable classes if the gameplay is focused on group based content. 

    I think a good direction to balance hybrid classes with pure classes is to allow Hybrid classes to act as a support class in a way. What I mean is, if a Hybrid Class can perform 2 roles, DPS and Healing, then reduce those roles by 30%. Meaning that if a Pure DPS and a pure Healer class can DPS and Heal 100%, then a Hybrid class can DPS and Heal at 70%. This way a Hybrid class is still effective and valuable in a group. They act as support DPS and Healing. 

    A Hybrid class should NEVER EVER be on par with a Pure Class because of their multiple roles. If a Hybrid class is on par with a Pure class then more than likely those pure classes will become obsolete. They won't be as valuable. 

    Ask you self this question. If a Mage is a pure DPS class that can do on par damage as a Sorcerer that can also heal, which class do you think would have a better chance at being more effective? As you can see this is an imbalance. 

     

    Layer 3: Skill/Ability/Spell Balance & HP/Mana Balance

    This is the top layer of class balance and always the most tricky. There are tons of variables because each class has a unique set of abilities to perform.  Layer 3 is more than likely the layer most will spend time balancing their classes. A good design would keep in mind the following two layers and design abilities that won't go against those rule sets already established. 

    Also in Layer 3 you would determine when a class gets an ability when progressing. For an example, if a Warrior had Deadly Strike at level 1 that did 10 damage and a mob at level  one had an ability that did 10 damage where both of you had 100 HP. Whoever struck first would win. So then you would adjust damage/HP/Mana levels accordingly and add in more abilities to make it fun and balanced in gameplay. 

    As you can see Layer 3 has a lot of variables to consider. Usually, this is one of the places where class balance can become imbalance. 

    Penalty. This is another way to balance very over powering abilities a class may have. Try and have the player to strategically use more powerful abilities instead of using them at their leisure. 

    Also in Layer 3 you would compliment whatever combat mechanics you have to balance your classes with that. 

    Layer 3 should also consist of player testing and tweaking to everything mentioned above. 

     

    What does Class Balance Mean? Can it be achieved?

    Yes Class Balance can be achieved. Before I go on let me tell you what class balance is not. Class Balance does not constitute that all classes are the same with the same abilities or roles. 

    Class Balance is when your archetypes (roles) are balanced and the classes within those archetypes are balanced with each other. All classes within that archetype have an equal opportunity to be as effective. That if more than 1 class within an archetype should have different functions to perform their desired role to have a good diversity of classes. 

    If a Hybrid class is more effective then a Pure class then that is not class balance but an imbalance.

    Layer 3 with different abilities may sway classes to be tweaked more than others, but if the design stays true to Layer 1 and Layer 2, it should make Layer 3 a bit easier to tweak. 

    I hope this made sense and I wanted to break this down as simple as I could.

    A good read but slightly offbase. The old, EQ1, there was no 'real' class balance. A Bard, Shaman, necro, Wizard, Chanter or Druid could almost always beat any other melee class due to the fact that they can move faster and/or have ranged or AOE abilities in a PVP situation. A Bard could AOE his heart out in classic EQ but not as much in the most recent renditions.

     

    The new, Archeage built from the ground up FOR PVP. Meleers have closers AND stun locks. Doesn't matter what else you got, if you are surprised, your dead. I know this because I've been on both sides of this in AA. EQ1 was designed as a PVE game. Bards rocked, even wizards and enchanters rocked. Druids and Shamans rocked in PVP when it was introduced but the true Fighter (SK and Paly also) was king in PVE. Boring to just stand there, take hits and get agro but absolutely necessary just like timed CHs for mana conservation. To give fighters ranged dominance is ridiculous but to satisfy the PVP player, it exists. In modern games the sole draw for PVP players is to kill, grief PVE players and games are made to accomodate this. Ones that boast to have both PVE and PVP where necessary or desired PVE content exists within PVP areas. 

     

    Today, people don't want to wait to get picked up for a group and they want to play any role on whatever toon they choose. Ack, bleh. (sorry I just threw up in my mouth a little) If I play a fighter, i want to play a fighter. That guy that can stand toe to toe like no other class can. The 'trinity' worked for me and kept me logging in for 10 years long after other games were released. It didn't matter to me that my class sucked in PVP because no content existed that restricted me. Rep mattered and games were made to stand up for longer than a single year. To say that games have evolved for the better is to say that I like eating the same slop day after day no matter what I order as long as it comes right away. 

    First PC Game: Pool of Radiance July 10th, 1990. First MMO: Everquest April 23, 1999

  • MalaboogaMalabooga Member UncommonPosts: 2,977
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    I feel that the only person who can be against good balance is someone who doesn't understand what balance means, so here are a few links for you to read.

     

    "If a game is fun despite being imbalanced, that's great, but do not make the mistake of thinking that it's fun because it's imbalanced." -Keith Burgun, Understanding Balance in Video Games

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/134768/understanding_balance_in_video_.php?print=1

     

    Something to read also:

    Sirlin's Balancing Multiplayer Games

    http://www.sirlin.net/articles/balancing-multiplayer-games-part-1-definitions

    http://www.sirlin.net/articles/balancing-multiplayer-games-part-2-viable-options

    http://www.sirlin.net/articles/balancing-multiplayer-games-part-3-fairness

    http://www.sirlin.net/articles/balancing-multiplayer-games-part-4-intuition

    You are wrong, those who who want to be top of the food chain are on that list too. And easiest way to get there? Play most OP class. And they very well know what balance means ;)

  • AdamantineAdamantine Member RarePosts: 5,085

    Balancing is more important to MMOs that to any other type of game.

    Balancing doesnt mean all characters are the same.

    It means for example that ideally you want every class to be great against some type of opponent, so-so against the next kind of opponent, but weak against certain kinds of opponents, so everybody has some kinds of mobs they can solo well against (if you want to support solo gaming, anyway). For example a mage would be great against slow moving mobs with huge hitpoints, but really bad against opponents with strong archery skills. A tank would be great against the later, but would have to melee the slow moving mobs with huge hitpoints, which means he has to fight them for ages and will have to withstand a lot of damage.

    The same goes for classes in PvP. Since with classes that have different skillsets its frankly impossible to make them truely balanced, every class should have half of the other classes as prey, and should be prey to the other half, thus no class is in the clear advantage or in the clear disadvantage. The advantage though should be a 60:40 chance if both parties play perfectly, and failure to execute the optimal sequence of actions should be penetralized, and there should be a good amount of random involved as well.

    Grouping adds another layer. So we have for example three types of tanks - the magic free all dps "Fighter", the defensive spellcaster tank "Paladin" with healing and buffing abilities, and the offensive spellcaster magekiller "Inquisitor". Then all tanks should play differently and have different strengths and should be better than other tanks in different situations, but there shouldnt be one tank thats clearly superior than the rest.

     

  • AkulasAkulas Member RarePosts: 3,017
    Should be a beats b beats c that way everyone has strength and weakness against everyone else

    This isn't a signature, you just think it is.

  • QuirhidQuirhid Member UncommonPosts: 6,230
    Originally posted by Malabooga
    Originally posted by Quirhid
     

    You are wrong, those who who want to be top of the food chain are on that list too. And easiest way to get there? Play most OP class. And they very well know what balance means ;)

    Even the ones on the top of the food chain want to play a good game, and that is more likely to happen with good balance.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • zwei2zwei2 Member Posts: 361

    Your views are valid and appreciated. It is just that the market has changed. With a vast majority dictates how will the game be fun, and a few broken class, when properly abused, will wreak the fun of the majority.

     

    I can give an example : In Neverwinter, there is this class called Trickster Rouge. It's class speciality is stealth, where the rouge can go invisible with a full stealth bar at any point of time, non-targetable, and basic attacks do not remove stealth immediately.

     

    This has made enterprising rouges to go "permastealth" by raising certains core attributes (intelligence in this case) to the max, while equipping items which reduces cool down of skills, and taking feats that increase stealth timer.

     

    Imagine this : rouge goes stealth, a few basic attacks, uses skill that refreshes stealth timer, a few basic attacks, uses skill that extends stealth timer, a few basic attacks, uses finisher that triggers a passive that refreshes stealth timer, a few basic attacks, uses skill that have gone off cool down, which refreshes stealth timer...

     

    This leads to rouges solo dungeon bosses meant for 5 players, and leaving a broken dungeon instances with no bosses that does not go away due to being bugged, and other players joining these broken dungeons again and again and again...

     

    Or in PVP, before any stealth revealing items appear in game, permastealth rouges are OP, not in terms of damage, but in terms of non-targetable.

     

    This leads to devs "balancing" rouges: now basic attacks drains stealth, FAST.

    The possibility of the universe collapsing into a singularity is higher than the birth of a perfect MMORPG.

  • Stone_FountainStone_Fountain Member UncommonPosts: 233
    Originally posted by Malabooga
    Originally posted by Stone_Fountain

    A warrior trains his entire life to stand toe to toe with his enemies. His body is a machine capable of taking the punishment monsters can dish out and with a hardened skin around him he can stick it out until the battle has ended. A rogue spends his time stalking, hiding, moving quietly, spying, stealing etc. And to employ his arts he needs to wear the armor that allows him to do these things well. He is quick so he can avoid some damage but his skills are better suited in seeking out the soft spots of an enemy when the enemy is otherwise distracted. I do not much care for games that try to make all classes relatively the same. In a duel without distractions, a rogue will get his ass handed to him by a warrior as it should be. Sure the rogue could employ tricks but if the warrior is not falling for them, in most cases, a rogue should be toast. 

     

    IN PVP games though, AOE and range is king. IN AA though they gave melee fighters closing abilities which made them king. And as a result, most PVPers played the same kind of classes if they wanted to do well. Leap, stun lock and kill, rinse, repeat. PVP does not belong in an MMORPG. The classes become muddled and toon balance is constantly being adjusted. 

    PvP is the real mmoRPG, PvE is just hack&slash diablo-like grinder.

    And this nonsense of huge imbalances....yeah right. Some people never learn, but i guess they were on top of food chain back then. And now are crying because their whole playstyle (always playing OPest class) has been dumped.

    Its just one huge "dont nerf me bro" whine.

    Diablo is a Single player game in most respects. Alot of the content I consider the most fun, the most hair raising and the most risky was PVE oriented. Most PVP games are; you die, you get rezzed or respawned and lose almost nothing. I'd play PVP and revere it if it was cut-throat. If you actually lost something like gear or your actual character. If it dont make my palms sweat then its just meh. The issue is character balance though. People complain now for games where they don't lose a darn thing. Imagine if they lost their character, permanently? OMG, I'm thinking CS nightmare. 

     

    Give me a game where the PVE is compelling, difficult, interesting and fun and bring in the PVP later on if the devs feel it would be good for the game. A class is necessary because it is what it is. The moment you reduce them down to the same thing, in this case, PVP survivability, you reduce the fun factor and put less value on the distinct differences between classes. 

     

    I can do most content solo or with a partner in most modern games at its launch. I appreciate the games that force you to try different things and use a classes specific talents in creative ways or you die trying. To be able to solo most content or easily survive PVP if you run with a few mates...or die and lose nothing, whats the fun in that?

     

    In EQ a rogue is DPS which is not unlike the roles of many other classes. However they do not solo well. You choose them though because maybe you need a door opened that a Bard can not, a trap disarmed or the chance for a total wipe is fairly high. (with special abilities a rogue is king with CRs) Even though they sucked at PVP, I played a Rogue. It was my first class ever in any MMORPG. I played him because it was fun and he had an actual niche in the game. All DPS did. 

    First PC Game: Pool of Radiance July 10th, 1990. First MMO: Everquest April 23, 1999

  • MalaboogaMalabooga Member UncommonPosts: 2,977
    Originally posted by Stone_Fountain
    Originally posted by Malabooga
    Originally posted by Stone_Fountain

    A warrior trains his entire life to stand toe to toe with his enemies. His body is a machine capable of taking the punishment monsters can dish out and with a hardened skin around him he can stick it out until the battle has ended. A rogue spends his time stalking, hiding, moving quietly, spying, stealing etc. And to employ his arts he needs to wear the armor that allows him to do these things well. He is quick so he can avoid some damage but his skills are better suited in seeking out the soft spots of an enemy when the enemy is otherwise distracted. I do not much care for games that try to make all classes relatively the same. In a duel without distractions, a rogue will get his ass handed to him by a warrior as it should be. Sure the rogue could employ tricks but if the warrior is not falling for them, in most cases, a rogue should be toast. 

     

    IN PVP games though, AOE and range is king. IN AA though they gave melee fighters closing abilities which made them king. And as a result, most PVPers played the same kind of classes if they wanted to do well. Leap, stun lock and kill, rinse, repeat. PVP does not belong in an MMORPG. The classes become muddled and toon balance is constantly being adjusted. 

    PvP is the real mmoRPG, PvE is just hack&slash diablo-like grinder.

    And this nonsense of huge imbalances....yeah right. Some people never learn, but i guess they were on top of food chain back then. And now are crying because their whole playstyle (always playing OPest class) has been dumped.

    Its just one huge "dont nerf me bro" whine.

    Diablo is a Single player game in most respects. Alot of the content I consider the most fun, the most hair raising and the most risky was PVE oriented. Most PVP games are; you die, you get rezzed or respawned and lose almost nothing. I'd play PVP and revere it if it was cut-throat. If you actually lost something like gear or your actual character. If it dont make my palms sweat then its just meh. The issue is character balance though. People complain now for games where they don't lose a darn thing. Imagine if they lost their character, permanently? OMG, I'm thinking CS nightmare. 

     

    Give me a game where the PVE is compelling, difficult, interesting and fun and bring in the PVP later on if the devs feel it would be good for the game. A class is necessary because it is what it is. The moment you reduce them down to the same thing, in this case, PVP survivability, you reduce the fun factor and put less value on the distinct differences between classes. 

     

    I can do most content solo or with a partner in most modern games at its launch. I appreciate the games that force you to try different things and use a classes specific talents in creative ways or you die trying. To be able to solo most content or easily survive PVP if you run with a few mates...or die and lose nothing, whats the fun in that?

     

    In EQ a rogue is DPS which is not unlike the roles of many other classes. However they do not solo well. You choose them though because maybe you need a door opened that a Bard can not, a trap disarmed or the chance for a total wipe is fairly high. (with special abilities a rogue is king with CRs) Even though they sucked at PVP, I played a Rogue. It was my first class ever in any MMORPG. I played him because it was fun and he had an actual niche in the game. All DPS did. 

    And?

    Power of RPG comes from choice and freedom, where you CAN gimp your character IF you want for RP reasons (like clumsy rogue for instance) not where your character comes pre-gimped because....reasons.

  • MukeMuke Member RarePosts: 2,614
    Originally posted by preston326 What do you guys think about this? Am I the only one who doesn’t like all classes being the same?

    There is a difference between classes having different roles and inbalance.

    Let's see how you react when I attack you in pvp, go the toilet and make a few phonecalls inbetween while you are mashing buttons, get 10% health away from me and I one-stomp you?

    "going into arguments with idiots is a lost cause, it requires you to stoop down to their level and you can't win"

  • Stone_FountainStone_Fountain Member UncommonPosts: 233
    Originally posted by Malabooga
    Originally posted by Stone_Fountain
    Originally posted by Malabooga
    Originally posted by Stone_Fountain

    A warrior trains his entire life to stand toe to toe with his enemies. His body is a machine capable of taking the punishment monsters can dish out and with a hardened skin around him he can stick it out until the battle has ended. A rogue spends his time stalking, hiding, moving quietly, spying, stealing etc. And to employ his arts he needs to wear the armor that allows him to do these things well. He is quick so he can avoid some damage but his skills are better suited in seeking out the soft spots of an enemy when the enemy is otherwise distracted. I do not much care for games that try to make all classes relatively the same. In a duel without distractions, a rogue will get his ass handed to him by a warrior as it should be. Sure the rogue could employ tricks but if the warrior is not falling for them, in most cases, a rogue should be toast. 

     

    IN PVP games though, AOE and range is king. IN AA though they gave melee fighters closing abilities which made them king. And as a result, most PVPers played the same kind of classes if they wanted to do well. Leap, stun lock and kill, rinse, repeat. PVP does not belong in an MMORPG. The classes become muddled and toon balance is constantly being adjusted. 

    PvP is the real mmoRPG, PvE is just hack&slash diablo-like grinder.

    And this nonsense of huge imbalances....yeah right. Some people never learn, but i guess they were on top of food chain back then. And now are crying because their whole playstyle (always playing OPest class) has been dumped.

    Its just one huge "dont nerf me bro" whine.

    Diablo is a Single player game in most respects. Alot of the content I consider the most fun, the most hair raising and the most risky was PVE oriented. Most PVP games are; you die, you get rezzed or respawned and lose almost nothing. I'd play PVP and revere it if it was cut-throat. If you actually lost something like gear or your actual character. If it dont make my palms sweat then its just meh. The issue is character balance though. People complain now for games where they don't lose a darn thing. Imagine if they lost their character, permanently? OMG, I'm thinking CS nightmare. 

     

    Give me a game where the PVE is compelling, difficult, interesting and fun and bring in the PVP later on if the devs feel it would be good for the game. A class is necessary because it is what it is. The moment you reduce them down to the same thing, in this case, PVP survivability, you reduce the fun factor and put less value on the distinct differences between classes. 

     

    I can do most content solo or with a partner in most modern games at its launch. I appreciate the games that force you to try different things and use a classes specific talents in creative ways or you die trying. To be able to solo most content or easily survive PVP if you run with a few mates...or die and lose nothing, whats the fun in that?

     

    In EQ a rogue is DPS which is not unlike the roles of many other classes. However they do not solo well. You choose them though because maybe you need a door opened that a Bard can not, a trap disarmed or the chance for a total wipe is fairly high. (with special abilities a rogue is king with CRs) Even though they sucked at PVP, I played a Rogue. It was my first class ever in any MMORPG. I played him because it was fun and he had an actual niche in the game. All DPS did. 

    And?

    Power of RPG comes from choice and freedom, where you CAN gimp your character IF you want for RP reasons (like clumsy rogue for instance) not where your character comes pre-gimped because....reasons.

    At some point you need to have viability to play the game, I do not want a toon with all stats at 10 anymore than I would buy a Middle Earth Hobbit Wizard (in MERP) that one shots trolls with a sling with a 2-bit backstory. (and yes, I've had a fellow gamer show up to a gaming session with a character like this) Nor is a rogue with an inferiority complex going to survive by trying to tank better than a fighter at each encounter. While it might be funny, at some point you do have to play the game and the games worth playing are the ones that set apart the classes by archtypes, skills and main purpose. Im in a group now for LOTRO that limits character level and plays the game very slowly in order to RP encounters. And its pretty hard to RP in the midst of people who attack you just because they can. I prefer to be entertained, not entertain someone elses desire to kill me. 

    First PC Game: Pool of Radiance July 10th, 1990. First MMO: Everquest April 23, 1999

  • MalaboogaMalabooga Member UncommonPosts: 2,977
    Originally posted by Stone_Fountain
    Originally posted by Malabooga
    Originally posted by Stone_Fountain
    Originally posted by Malabooga
    Originally posted by Stone_Fountain

    A warrior trains his entire life to stand toe to toe with his enemies. His body is a machine capable of taking the punishment monsters can dish out and with a hardened skin around him he can stick it out until the battle has ended. A rogue spends his time stalking, hiding, moving quietly, spying, stealing etc. And to employ his arts he needs to wear the armor that allows him to do these things well. He is quick so he can avoid some damage but his skills are better suited in seeking out the soft spots of an enemy when the enemy is otherwise distracted. I do not much care for games that try to make all classes relatively the same. In a duel without distractions, a rogue will get his ass handed to him by a warrior as it should be. Sure the rogue could employ tricks but if the warrior is not falling for them, in most cases, a rogue should be toast. 

     

    IN PVP games though, AOE and range is king. IN AA though they gave melee fighters closing abilities which made them king. And as a result, most PVPers played the same kind of classes if they wanted to do well. Leap, stun lock and kill, rinse, repeat. PVP does not belong in an MMORPG. The classes become muddled and toon balance is constantly being adjusted. 

    PvP is the real mmoRPG, PvE is just hack&slash diablo-like grinder.

    And this nonsense of huge imbalances....yeah right. Some people never learn, but i guess they were on top of food chain back then. And now are crying because their whole playstyle (always playing OPest class) has been dumped.

    Its just one huge "dont nerf me bro" whine.

    Diablo is a Single player game in most respects. Alot of the content I consider the most fun, the most hair raising and the most risky was PVE oriented. Most PVP games are; you die, you get rezzed or respawned and lose almost nothing. I'd play PVP and revere it if it was cut-throat. If you actually lost something like gear or your actual character. If it dont make my palms sweat then its just meh. The issue is character balance though. People complain now for games where they don't lose a darn thing. Imagine if they lost their character, permanently? OMG, I'm thinking CS nightmare. 

     

    Give me a game where the PVE is compelling, difficult, interesting and fun and bring in the PVP later on if the devs feel it would be good for the game. A class is necessary because it is what it is. The moment you reduce them down to the same thing, in this case, PVP survivability, you reduce the fun factor and put less value on the distinct differences between classes. 

     

    I can do most content solo or with a partner in most modern games at its launch. I appreciate the games that force you to try different things and use a classes specific talents in creative ways or you die trying. To be able to solo most content or easily survive PVP if you run with a few mates...or die and lose nothing, whats the fun in that?

     

    In EQ a rogue is DPS which is not unlike the roles of many other classes. However they do not solo well. You choose them though because maybe you need a door opened that a Bard can not, a trap disarmed or the chance for a total wipe is fairly high. (with special abilities a rogue is king with CRs) Even though they sucked at PVP, I played a Rogue. It was my first class ever in any MMORPG. I played him because it was fun and he had an actual niche in the game. All DPS did. 

    And?

    Power of RPG comes from choice and freedom, where you CAN gimp your character IF you want for RP reasons (like clumsy rogue for instance) not where your character comes pre-gimped because....reasons.

    At some point you need to have viability to play the game, I do not want a toon with all stats at 10 anymore than I would buy a Middle Earth Hobbit Wizard (in MERP) that one shots trolls with a sling with a 2-bit backstory. (and yes, I've had a fellow gamer show up to a gaming session with a character like this) Nor is a rogue with an inferiority complex going to survive by trying to tank better than a fighter at each encounter. While it might be funny, at some point you do have to play the game and the games worth playing are the ones that set apart the classes by archtypes, skills and main purpose. Im in a group now for LOTRO that limits character level and plays the game very slowly in order to RP encounters. And its pretty hard to RP in the midst of people who attack you just because they can. I prefer to be entertained, not entertain someone elses desire to kill me. 

    1. and theres where rpg and MMO part their ways. MMOs are rigid, they cannot allow for gimped characters so all characters must be balanced so they can play the game. theres no choice or freedom in MMOs, they are provided "as is", In rpg your rogue could sneak in and steal the key avoiding combat alltogether, in MMOs you pretty much have to kill stuff to get anywhere

    2. then you should not play mmos but small coop games, NWN was perfect for that, and oncoming sword coast legends are games you should be playing. Whole MMO premise is that lot of people play and influence each other. limiting that influence is limiting MMO.

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