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Thread: Game balance and why constant changes are needed

  1. #1
    Rift Disciple
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    Default Game balance and why constant changes are needed

    Hello guys,

    I have been roaming the forums for quite a while and I get the feeling a lot of people don't really understand why all those changes that are being flamed are actually a necessity. I will try to explain a few of the basic issues of game balancing so hopefully you can understand a part of the things that developers have to take into consideration when they are pushing different patches.

    First lets start with one of the most fundamental things. The problem with scaling. As players progress through the game, and new tiers of gear are released, player stats grow and grow and that often makes a few key abilities much better than they are supposed to be. A very good example is Synthesis. It increases the healing the tank receives from cloromancer dmg abilities with 225%. Lets say in T1 gear it heals just as much as it is supposed to. With T2 gear lets say that the performance of everyone is supposed to be 15% better, but if the mage deals 15% more dmg the heals that go through the 225% modifier will increase too much. Same goes for a lot of dps abilities (but to a lesser extend). Something that is in line now and works ok can become overpowered if it scales better than it should be with the next tier of gear.

    The second biggest problem for balancing is that people optimize. That is a very big problem in rift because of the 9 talent trees we have at our disposal. The only way the game can be balanced is if we had predetermined talant trees that we have to choose from. It is practically impossible to make 3-4 viable raid specs without making something else overpowered. You can't make 51 lock spec be competative in raids without making 3x/3x necro/lock spec overpowered (unless you nerf necro into the ground witch will pretty much defeat the purpose)

    The third problem I want to talk about is the different content that has to be balanced. What should developers balance exactly? The 5% people that will raid the latest PvE content? Do you balance them around the gear they currently have or the gear they will get in the new instance? Or should they balance around the 15% of people that will be doing GSB or RoS. Or the 40% of people that do only dungeons? Or the people that play PvP? The correct answer is pretty much "Everything". The developers must make sure that there isn't some mechanic that will become too good in any of the levels of the game. Usually all the QQ is because people fail to understand that there are other people that don't do the same thing in the game as they do and the game should be balanced around them as well (PvP changes vs PvE changes anyone?).

    People should understand that the game is constantly changing and should do that to stay alive. There is no perfect position in which everything will be balanced. I assure you the balancing is a lot harder that people seem to think it is and it is done by people that have a lot more data to work with than your tests that you did.

  2. #2
    Prophet of Telara NatashaK's Avatar
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    The problem with balance is that the encounters are instanced. Lets say a p6 warrior were unkillable 1v1, in the open world I could just bring more people. Problem solved. But in an instances, a group of high ranked / skilled players dominate. Because I cannot bring more.

    I face a similar problem in PvE. An instances is tuned to 20 people of the right spec and gear. I cannot bring more to beat it early. I cannot bring sub-optimal spec / geared players. Then everything tips and it becomes too easy and boring.

    Put the dragon in the open world. Maybe the first time you even have both factions and the entire server working to kill it. Over time, it gets competitive and 1-2 guilds are more able to do it themselves. Eventually getting to the point where people camp the spawn and race to fight the dragon.

  3. #3
    Prophet of Telara
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    Actually balancing isn't nearly as difficult as people tend to think.

    First outline a benchmark and expected scaling system.

    Look at tier I~V passives across the classes to find realistic hybrid options.

    Create uncapped passive bonuses and strong abilities for pure builds that begin relatively far into the tree.

    There will stronger combos than others, but if Trion actually looks at successful combos, use them as a template for expected values, and then nurtures each classes' uniqueness it should be pretty easy to have multiple combos that succeed at similar things, or at least raid DPS, which is the only thing people really want balanced versatility for PvE-wise.

    Of course Trion is off ****ing up Chloro for no reason instead of looking at the myriad of other classes that never see the light of day so whatever.

  4. #4
    Soulwalker Chosen One's Avatar
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    Everyone thinks the class they play should be better, they cheer when it gets upgraded and cry when it's nerfed. true balance is impossible because you can not predict player skill. A crappy player can have the best gear and setup and still not get the job done so they wine and say the class sucks. A skilled player on the other hand can take a half dressed experiment and take what he wants, so he says the class is overpowered.
    It's easy to be obnoxious when no one can reach threw your monitor and smack you upside the head

  5. #5
    Telaran SmokinBuddha's Avatar
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    The real problem lies within balancing for both pve and pvp you can adjust Synthesis all you want to balance out gearimprovement and the fact that mages WERE kickass pve healers..then the chloromancer joins a warfront and have to heal by nuking a cleric with 900 Valor and the result are simply pathetic,before patch and even more now..looking at the changes they did to pyromancers where certain abilitys did different damage in pve contra pvp are the way to go in the long run.

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