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Thread: Min-Maxers, balance, and FOTM builds, OH MY!

  1. #1
    Telaran Mirarii's Avatar
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    Default Min-Maxers, balance, and FOTM builds, OH MY!

    Like the rest of you I'm really looking forward to Rift. Though I'm a bit worried about the community and how everything will end up. In a way I want Rift to be the next WoW but then again I don't... I'm just worried that with its unique soul system and the way builds are set up, that people will be complaining that a particular soul cant solo, or you need to have these souls with this particular build to raid with us... I want to have fun! Not be told what to do; but I also realize that for harder encounters some coordination and planning is required.

    So how is this all being handled?

    Does anyone here know?

    Have any ideas?

  2. #2
    Rift Disciple Nimsul's Avatar
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    we don't really have much information on that.

    I'm of the opinion that they're throwing as many possible options at us that by the time we figure out whats best, they will have made several game changes to throw us for a loop.

    though I think all things can be resolved through diminishing returns when it comes to people trying to min/max.

  3. #3
    Rift Disciple Vell's Avatar
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    Based on the little information available at the moment, I doubt any player will have trouble soloing. Since players can mix and switch their classes and even store multiple builds, any player who cannot solo is likely simply a player too cheap or to stubborn to use up any of their alternate specs to solo.

    In fact, the progression of the soul system seems so flexible that I worry that it is in fact TOO flexible making the game very difficult to balance. Bad balance could results in a small pool of minorly dissimilar cookie cutter builds played by all.

    If all the souls are so well balanced that Min/Maxers have a hard time choosing what is best, then the game developers did a good job.
    Last edited by Vell; 09-19-2010 at 05:53 PM.

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    Rift Master armengar's Avatar
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    There will always be people that min/max, complain and require certain builds, there really isnt anything you can do to prevent, only can hope the devs dont listen to their whining, and only make changes on hard data.

  5. #5
    Telaran Mirarii's Avatar
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    Thanks for the answers.

    Hopefully Rift will end up with a fairly mature community(Actions > Age).

    I'm sure plenty of casual guilds will spring up, and it's sounding like the game is really going to try and bring people together; maybe even the hardcore and the whiners will realize that they need to work well with others.

  6. #6
    Shield of Telara
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    There will be a build that does the most DPS. Period.

    There will be a tank build that holds the most agro. Period.

    There will be a cleric build that has the best direct healing. Period.

    In order to defeat the hardest content, guilds will have to find these optimal builds. If you want to play the game at the top level, you will need to be able to adapt to these optimal builds. If you insist on being inflexible that is your choice.

    If you don't want to play in that fashion it is completely up to you. Just don't complain when someone does 5% more DPS than you and takes your raid slot because the guild needs a few more percent DPS to defeat an encounter.

    If you decide that playing "how you want to play" is more important than defeating content then join a guild that doesn't care only about winning. If you do join a guild like that don't complain when you guys can't beat the toughest content because you refuse to optimize your characters.

  7. #7
    Shadowlander
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    To the OP: I assume how players will handle it will vary by player, but the devs have said a couple of times that there will be balance issues between the builds, and that it's fine. They expect the community to find uber-builds and argue about the best options. I think they also expect there to be enough choices and complications that the arguments go on forever instead of everybody reaching a specific conclusion, but that could just be optimism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Riler View Post
    There will be a build that does the most DPS. Period.

    There will be a tank build that holds the most agro. Period.

    There will be a cleric build that has the best direct healing. Period.
    I agree with you on a mathematical level, Riler, with two caveats.

    First, there will be situational balancing. If that top DPS build uses fire damage, then it'll be worth it to switch for a fight against a fire elemental boss. If that top tanking build is primarily single-target, then it'll be worth it to switch for a mass combat encounter. If that top healing build uses mostly HoTs, then it'll be worth it to switch for a spike-damage boss. That's all pretty trivial, though, since you can just infer "all things being equal" into a statement about top builds.

    More serious is the degree of difference between builds. How large a difference does it have to be to make a raid guild turn up its nose? 5% doesn't seem like a lot to me, but I can see a raid guild keeping track of that. What about 3%? What about 1%? How do you weigh factors that aren't strictly numerical? For example, a justiciar/shaman cleric will probably not provide as much healing as a sentinel cleric would, but they'd bring some helpful buffs to the table. If the devs design the system well, then there will still be reasons for players to make multiple choices, either because they aren't different enough to matter or because they're different enough that they're hard to quantify.

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    Rift Disciple Adjana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riler View Post
    There will be a build that does the most DPS. Period.

    There will be a tank build that holds the most agro. Period.

    There will be a cleric build that has the best direct healing. Period.

    In order to defeat the hardest content, guilds will have to find these optimal builds. If you want to play the game at the top level, you will need to be able to adapt to these optimal builds. If you insist on being inflexible that is your choice.
    I think there are to many possible situations to say whats the optimal build.

    One encounter might need burst damage and another needs more constant damage over a long time, so you also have to watch how mana expensive the spells are. The next boss you might not be able to avoid aoe damage, so a top dps buid is useless if you are dead after a few seconds. Here you need to sacrifice some damage to stay alive.

    Same for raidhealing (group-, direct-, hothealing, survivability and mana efficiency). But here the combination of available tools is also very important. One healer with good direct heals and a dedicated hot healer should in my opinion be better than two direct healers.

    Tanks should also find a balance between aggro generation and damage mitigation/avoidance. Some encounters could need more burst aggro, others max hitpoints.
    Adjana - Shadows of the Dragon

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  9. #9
    Rift Disciple forestwhitakereye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riler View Post
    There will be a build that does the most DPS. Period.

    There will be a tank build that holds the most agro. Period.

    There will be a cleric build that has the best direct healing. Period.

    In order to defeat the hardest content, guilds will have to find these optimal builds. If you want to play the game at the top level, you will need to be able to adapt to these optimal builds. If you insist on being inflexible that is your choice.

    If you don't want to play in that fashion it is completely up to you. Just don't complain when someone does 5% more DPS than you and takes your raid slot because the guild needs a few more percent DPS to defeat an encounter.

    If you decide that playing "how you want to play" is more important than defeating content then join a guild that doesn't care only about winning. If you do join a guild like that don't complain when you guys can't beat the toughest content because you refuse to optimize your characters.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adjana View Post
    I think there are to many possible situations to say whats the optimal build.

    One encounter might need burst damage and another needs more constant damage over a long time, so you also have to watch how mana expensive the spells are. The next boss you might not be able to avoid aoe damage, so a top dps buid is useless if you are dead after a few seconds. Here you need to sacrifice some damage to stay alive.

    Same for raidhealing (group-, direct-, hothealing, survivability and mana efficiency). But here the combination of available tools is also very important. One healer with good direct heals and a dedicated hot healer should in my opinion be better than two direct healers.

    Tanks should also find a balance between aggro generation and damage mitigation/avoidance. Some encounters could need more burst aggro, others max hitpoints.
    Both of you are correct. In absence of other factors, there will be builds that do the most dps, most healing, and most aggro (though I would have said most mitigation here).

    Once you take into account the raid encounters you're facing and the makeup of your raid, there's still going to be a collective optimized build for the raid. It might change for the different boss fights, it might change depending on who is in the raid. It might be that there's so much raidwide incoming damage that every class needs to have some healing talents.

    The thing is though that whether we're going for pure dps, or dps+survivability because we have to, we're still talking about optimizing. The best raids are still going to demand a certain kind of build, or several builds, depending on the situation. What isn't going to fly though is non-optimization. It's one thing to play a Riftstalker/Bard/Ranger because it's going to give you the best dps coupled with the necessary survivability for the encounter. It's another thing to play it because you're a special snowflake and that's what you want to do today.

  10. #10
    RIFT Fan Site Operator Raive's Avatar
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    Riler said it best. Bottom line there is an alpha build for every situation. There is no way around that. And for hitting the top end content, be prepared to make that adjustment.

    #retiredBear #teamBBCs #puffForeverMad

  11. #11
    Rift Disciple Enyeto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adjana View Post
    One encounter might need burst damage and another needs more constant damage over a long time
    Burst = ---^---^---^
    Constant = ---------

    There's no difference, they are both consistent. Encounters require you to burn it down always. Scripts and certain elements are designed just to slow down dps and lengthen happy playtime fun factor.


    Forum tested, Hevenly approved.

  12. #12
    Rift Disciple Adjana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raive View Post
    Riler said it best. Bottom line there is an alpha build for every situation. There is no way around that. And for hitting the top end content, be prepared to make that adjustment.
    I agree. The question is how many different "optimal builds" you would have for one raid(week) with different bosses. Going to the trainer and change you builds during the raid shouldn't be an option, so there would be a variaty of builds for a raid. If you face a boss for the 1st time you also have to figure out what your optimal build would be and i hope that the answer to that won't be to easy and different people will have different opinons about that.
    Adjana - Shadows of the Dragon

    Yarrick - Lvl 5x Cleric@Icewatch

  13. #13
    Prophet of Telara nefermore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirarii View Post
    Like the rest of you I'm really looking forward to Rift. Though I'm a bit worried about the community and how everything will end up. In a way I want Rift to be the next WoW but then again I don't... I'm just worried that with its unique soul system and the way builds are set up, that people will be complaining that a particular soul cant solo, or you need to have these souls with this particular build to raid with us... I want to have fun! Not be told what to do; but I also realize that for harder encounters some coordination and planning is required.

    So how is this all being handled?

    Does anyone here know?

    Have any ideas?

    The most important thing you need to remember is that its the community that your concerned with and that even though some dont like to see it that way, they are not the dev team. Go check out the Rift twitter and, or Facebook page and read the interviews they point to. The recent pod cast interview on Ten Ton Hammer with Scott will answer a lot of your questions and leave you wondering why some people are saying what they are.

    The impression I got from the interviews Mirarii, is that they want you to have fun too. There will be a best attempt at balance and ongoing adjustments. That much I know from the latest interview. You will be able to switch between builds cause you have more than one with out having to leave from your current location to do it. I think if you stick around you will enjoy the game as much as I think I will.

  14. #14
    Soulwalker
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    There will be a tank build that holds the most agro. Period.

    There will be a cleric build that has the best direct healing. Period.

    In order to defeat the hardest content, guilds will have to find these optimal builds. If you want to play the game at the top level, you will need to be able to adapt to these optimal builds. If you insist on being inflexible that is your choice.

    If you don't want to play in that fashion it is completely up to you. Just don't complain when someone does 5% more DPS than you and takes your raid slot because the guild needs a few more percent DPS to defeat an encounter.

    If you decide that playing "how you want to play" is more important than defeating content then join a guild that doesn't care only about winning. If you do join a guild like that don't complain when you guys can't beat the toughest content because you refuse to optimize your characters.
    Mathematically right, BUT there are a few thousand possible combos ... so have fun finding the real UBER DPS/HEAL/TANK build.There are not only the 56 combos per calling, in addition there are, like i've said above, thousands of different combos to skill your toon.

    If they do it right, their encounters aren't based on dps, so your whole "there will be a max. XXX specc" -system doesn't count in.

    That's what i hope.
    Last edited by Caldrus; 09-21-2010 at 06:37 AM.

  15. #15
    Shield of Telara
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talbott View Post
    To the OP: I assume how players will handle it will vary by player, but the devs have said a couple of times that there will be balance issues between the builds, and that it's fine. They expect the community to find uber-builds and argue about the best options. I think they also expect there to be enough choices and complications that the arguments go on forever instead of everybody reaching a specific conclusion, but that could just be optimism.


    I agree with you on a mathematical level, Riler, with two caveats.

    First, there will be situational balancing. If that top DPS build uses fire damage, then it'll be worth it to switch for a fight against a fire elemental boss. If that top tanking build is primarily single-target, then it'll be worth it to switch for a mass combat encounter. If that top healing build uses mostly HoTs, then it'll be worth it to switch for a spike-damage boss. That's all pretty trivial, though, since you can just infer "all things being equal" into a statement about top builds.

    More serious is the degree of difference between builds. How large a difference does it have to be to make a raid guild turn up its nose? 5% doesn't seem like a lot to me, but I can see a raid guild keeping track of that. What about 3%? What about 1%? How do you weigh factors that aren't strictly numerical? For example, a justiciar/shaman cleric will probably not provide as much healing as a sentinel cleric would, but they'd bring some helpful buffs to the table. If the devs design the system well, then there will still be reasons for players to make multiple choices, either because they aren't different enough to matter or because they're different enough that they're hard to quantify.
    Your point about situational balance is spot on. There will be a time when a guild will need its Clerics to switch to group healing spec, or their DPS to switch to crowd control spec, or their Warriors to switch to DPS spec. That is exactly what min/maxers do.

    If you (not you, just a generic pronoun) can't be flexible enough to play your class skillfully in mulitple ways, you will not be an asset to your guild. If you can only play, or only want to play, your Mage as a fire DPSer, then don't complain when you get dropped for someone that can play a Mage as the crowd controler the raid needs.

    All these "don't make me min/max my character" threads have the same undertone to them: Please don't make me play any other way than the way I want to play. I should be just as powerful as everyone else that takes the time to figure out the nuances of their class regardless of how I choose to play.

    It is the same old entitlement mentality in all things that drives me crazy. People think that just because they pay their $15 per month they should get the same rewards as hardcore players. They think just because they can turn on their PC and log into the game their characters should be just as powerful as someone who spends hours researching and testing optimal builds, and they want the game balanced around their mediocrity.

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