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Thread: About time we defined "Balance"

  1. #1
    Shadowlander
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    Default About time we defined "Balance"

    Please note that this is purely from a PvE perspective.

    Balance is the goal that all MMO's strive for, to have everything in check so that there is no dominant class/spec that reigns over all. As an avid forum reader, I've seen way too many posts (mostly trolling/QQing) about how "imbalanced" things are. So, I think it's about time we put this silly squabble to rest and define what balance really is.

    First, what balance is NOT:
    Having every class/spec doing identical dps

    This is important to note because some classes are more geared towards doing higher damage, but at a cost will take more damage.
    Such is the first part of balance: Trading power for protection, and vice versa.

    Maintaining class uniqueness is also a huge part of balance, for if everyone had a different "class" but still used similar but re-named mechanics, then there was nothing to balance to begin with. So far I believe trion has done a fantastic job with this, and each calling has a unique mechanic to play with and master.

    The second part of balance is to enable players to have multiple options (in terms of playstyle) that all have a similar output in the grand scheme of things. For example: A rogue can choose between Sozu's ranger build or the 44/20/2 Sab/sin/ranger build for excellent ranged dps, while they both put out very similar dps, they have different methods of dpsing and one even utilizes a pet.

    This also brings up the 3rd part of balance: The power of each role.
    If a healer can out dps a dps, then why bring a dps? This may be the case for some chloromancers at present, however if a chloro is purely focused on healing, no competent dps should ever fall below them (that was an aside, now back to the main point). As it stands (and assuming competent players), dps out dps tanks and healers, while tanks deal respectable damage. This by itself is evident throughout the game (Although it is quite satisfying to out dps pugs on my chloro ^.^).

    Lastly, the biggest part about balance: class equivalence. This is the one most people argue about, and I find it to be quite a silly squabble. In truth, the individual class trees are very well balanced, and all that matters is the skill and competence of the players. If you're geared, know your class, and know how to avoid fire, you can top the charts, simple as that. I may get some disagreements with this, but another point is that you can only truly compare yourself with our own class unless another class is WAY above your own dps (which is not the case).
    However, there will ALWAYS be some fights that favor some souls, and others that may not. But so long as you have 4 specs available at all times, and at least 1 of those specs is favored, then I see no reason to complain. Every class should have a niche to fill, but they should not be brought just because of their class.

    So, in summation, balance IS:
    1. Trading Power for Protection and vice versa
    2. Maintaining class uniqueness
    3. Making sure that the power of each role (tank/dps/heals/support) is within its defined parameters
    4. Class relative equivalence, so that every class has a niche to fill but is not unquestionably dominant over other classes.
    Last edited by KaizotheGreat; 05-17-2011 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Shadowlander
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    Default My experience with balance

    My Rift experience with balance:
    I do not raid, so don't expect a raid analysis here. However, I've done every T2 on my Warrior / Mage and have talked extensively with cleric and rogue friends of mine who have done the same.

    Essentially, everything is where it should be (aside from bards in dungeons, that is the only real flaw I see because pitiful dps is not compensated for minor buffs and over-healing, but in raids I hear they are very effective support)

    Warriors have 4 dps specs that I have seen available to them, and countless customizable tank specs.

    Clerics have multiple effective specs for single target, including inquisitor and druid focused trees, as well as many healing focused and tank focused builds that are viable. (I do lack some knowledge since I don't actively read their forums)

    Rogues have 5 or so unique melee builds and 2 ranged builds that are viable, the 51 rifstalker tank build with a few variations, and bard.

    Mages have 2 very strong dps builds, and a few others which aren't quite as powerful as SC/ele or Necro/lock but still pack some punch and utility. They also have the archon, an amazing support class, and the chloromancer which is an excellent healer with some respectable dps.

    The number of specs is just from what I have read, not an absolute number.

    So, all in all, I truly do believe that people have more than enough VIABLE options to choose from between classes. Do they all do the same dps? No, and they shouldn't. Do they all bring something unique to the table? Yes. Are these the only builds that work? No, and you can tweak and edit the builds to your heart's content, that's the beauty of this game.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and please leave a comment if you desire.

  3. #3
    Sword of Telara Mr Malingers's Avatar
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    Does class balance even matter in PvE?
    Unless a Soul is so over the top that people are stacking them and not inviting other Souls how does imbalance hurt other players in a PvE environment?
    Maybe he just wanted to steal our wire cutters. You ever think of that?

  4. #4
    Rift Disciple Belith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Malingers View Post
    Does class balance even matter in PvE?
    Unless a Soul is so over the top that people are stacking them and not inviting other Souls how does imbalance hurt other players in a PvE environment?
    QUOTE!
    I'm in a guild and i got my place in raids even if my dps have been surpassed by another soul/calling.
    I'm mage and I'm very happy about rogue and cleric dps improvements, it means the boss goes down quickly.
    Are you OP jealous about others performances?
    I care the class balance only regarding pvp.
    Last edited by Belith; 05-17-2011 at 09:33 PM.

  5. #5
    aux
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    When two keyboard turners spam their DPS macro on each other, and die at the same time, there is balance!
    I'm so BORED

  6. #6
    Rift Master Dankshasta's Avatar
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    Well I've played over a thousand kills on Mage at 50, 1500 kills on Warror at 50, and 20k+ kills now with PvP rank 5 on my 50 Rogue, and the game is finally pretty balanced. No MMO is going to be perfectly balanced, but I dominate scrubs on very toon. I've also noticed that every soul can wreck as part of a PvP build. That's decent balance too. Trion is doing a pretty good job. They need to keep at it, because MMOs with players strats, and builds evolve and change the balance constantly. Overall though Trion has been doing a good job for a new MMO. The Dev's timely responses, and heavy handed approach to updates has been top notch for this genre of gaming.

    Again it's not perfect, but it's good balance man. I don't feel gimp on any toon.
    Last edited by Dankshasta; 05-19-2011 at 12:48 AM.
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  7. #7
    Telaran
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    Balance does not exist in PvP or PvE. Nor is it required for PvE.

  8. #8
    Plane Walker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Malingers View Post
    Does class balance even matter in PvE?
    Unless a Soul is so over the top that people are stacking them and not inviting other Souls how does imbalance hurt other players in a PvE environment?
    Imbalance actually considerably hurts PvE because in order for a game to be fun encounters must be challenging without being frustratingly difficult, but if they are too easy it's also no fun anymore.

    Rifts PvE balance isn't bad, you can play pretty much any soul in PvE and be useful to a group in one way or another, while some may be better than others, it's not really at the point where it really screws things up.

    I've played some other games though where the PvE balance pretty much killed the game. For example in Tabula Rasa, which was a fantastic game in a lot of regards, the massive imbalance between character classes in PvE caused the game to be a total cakewalk for some and a pure source of frustration to others. In the end nobody was happy with the result.

    The same goes for Champions Online, which is a really good game in a lot of regards, but one of the main reasons why it lost a lot of subscribers is because its so easy to create practically immortal characters with absurdly huge ammounts of damage in it that there is just no pleasing the games community with PvE content anymore. Either the people who minmax the hell out of their heroes complain about it being way too easy, or the people building flavor characters around their idea for a superhero without much regard for what power combinations are the most potent complain that its way too difficult.

    So, bad imbalance can kill PvE just as badly as it can kill PvP, if not moreso.

  9. #9
    Sword of Telara Mr Malingers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ebethil View Post
    Imbalance actually considerably hurts PvE because in order for a game to be fun encounters must be challenging without being frustratingly difficult, but if they are too easy it's also no fun anymore.
    Given the huge difference between good players and bad ones, and even good ones and average ones it will be unlikely that any real balance in that regards exists.

    I'm unfamiliar with Rifts top guilds or I'd cite them specifically, but in WoW the sponsored guilds would down content within a week or two and than be bored for 3 months. While guilds that were decent all things considered would take months to down that same content. And the poor guilds would smash their face into the content for months and still never down it.

    Sure you can aim for the middle and let the all stars get bored and the baddies get frustrated, but because "Difficulty" is relative there is no actual balance to be had here.
    Maybe he just wanted to steal our wire cutters. You ever think of that?

  10. #10
    Ascendant TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    So, let's see here.

    Tanks supposedly have 4 viable DPS specs (I don't buy it, and I don't even play warrior)

    Clerics have 2 dps specs and of course can heal and tank.

    Rogues have 7 viable dps specs, plus 1 support spec in high demand and 1 raid quality tank spec that is as good or better than warrior or cleric tanks...

    And mages have 2 dps specs.

    Sounds like balance to me!

    OP must be a rogue. Seems so strange (sarcasim) that now that 1.2 has come out, rogues are coming out in droves and announcing that "Rift is balanced and never needs to be changed again! Hooray!"
    Last edited by TheLeviathan; 05-19-2011 at 07:12 AM.
    Red ball + fulminate + really craptacular dom/pyro spec trying to hard cast transmog and pray your spell lands before some squirrel punching moron eats your controlled opp proc = +1 board warrior keeping mages from being realistically balanced in PVE or PVP. 1.0-1.2's best combo in the game. RIP FOTM Pyro rollers

  11. #11
    Sword of Telara Mr Malingers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    So, let's see here.

    Tanks supposedly have 4 viable DPS specs (I don't buy it, and I don't even play warrior)

    Clerics have 2 dps specs and of course can heal and tank.

    Rogues have 7 viable dps specs, plus 1 support spec in high demand and 1 raid quality tank spec that is as good or better than warrior or cleric tanks...

    And mages have 2 dps specs.

    Sounds like balance to me!

    OP must be a rogue. Seems so strange (sarcasim) that now that 1.2 has come out, rogues are coming out in droves and announcing that "Rift is balanced and never needs to be changed again! Hooray!"
    By spec do you mean combination of Souls, or just individual Souls?

    Viable schmiable, theres only 1 top dps spec for each class. Rogues only have more "viable" ones because they are both melee and ranged.
    Maybe he just wanted to steal our wire cutters. You ever think of that?

  12. #12
    Xsi
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaizotheGreat View Post
    So, in summation, balance IS:
    1. Trading Power for Protection and vice versa
    2. Maintaining class uniqueness
    3. Making sure that the power of each role (tank/dps/heals/support) is within its defined parameters
    4. Class relative equivalence, so that every class has a niche to fill but is not unquestionably dominant over other classes.
    #2 is a constraint and not a goal of balance. It, however, is what makes the balance term difficult.
    #4 is not necessary if you have the soul system in RIFT.
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  13. #13
    Rift Disciple
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    Different suggestion to what balance is: whenever one of each spec is more desirable than / as desirable as duplicates of any particular spec.

    Works for PvE and PvP alike.

    I think Rift is overall fairly close.

  14. #14
    Ascendant
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    As long as the boss dies PVE balance doesnt matter. If all your dps is rogues and they do 900 dps and the boss dies sweet. If all those rogues were replaced with warriors doing 750 dps and the boss still dies than sweet. Balance only matters in PVE when a class is so strong it makes content trvial or a class is so weak it cannot defeat the content. Basically as long as the mob dies it doesnt matter

    PVP balance is what matters. End of story.
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  15. #15
    Plane Walker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xsi View Post
    #4 is not necessary if you have the soul system in RIFT.
    Some people want to have their characters to have an identity beyond their calling. Maybe to some people it doesn't matter if they have to change their build completeley to always be the best rogue, mage, warrior or cleric they can be, but what about people that have a strong preference for a certain soul?

    Balance between callings isn't terrible in Rift as long as you're willing to treat souls like hats, balance between souls is awful though for those people that got suckered in by the promise of being able to make a unique character...

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