+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Design Philosophy: Balancing by niches.

  1. #1
    Rift Master Dasmani's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    671

    Default Design Philosophy: Balancing by niches.

    Something that I was thinking about today is how one builds balance in to something as complex as the soul system in RIFT. This is a game where every character is able to fill every role. They should all be roughly equal at any given role if the game is to be balanced.

    It's important at this point to examine the different roles characters are expected to fill.

    They are:

    -Soloing. A character spends a lot of time doing this.
    -Tanking.
    -PvE DPS (ranged and melee)
    -PvP (ranged and melee)
    -AoE DPS.
    -Healing
    -Support

    Which means there are exactly nine roles for each character to fill, and each character has exactly ten souls.

    To balance the soul system, and ensure that every soul sees play, we should ensure that each soul fills exactly one of these roles, with each calling having one role split between two specialized souls. This will allow us to balance souls in the same niche against each other more easily.

    So let's examine in detail what a soul needs to fulfill each niche.

    Soloing: A soloing soul needs survivability, damage, and resource regeneration to ensure minimum downtime. It needs to be able to pull five or more mobs at a time and cleave them down. The slowest thing about this soul should be the time it takes to mount up and ride to the next quest. Soloing souls should be fairly bursty in terms of damage, not very complex, and in the grand scheme of things should be well behind specialized damage souls. Great soloing specs in the game now are Chloro/Harb and Reaver. They are both able to heal themselves while doing damage and have excellent cleave. They have instant ranged abilities to pull mobs and group them up. They have built-in mitigation. Unfortunately, both Harb and Reaver are competitive raiding souls. No single soul in the game is built to excel at soloing only.

    Souls that could fill this role:

    Necromancer. With a few tweaks it has all the right ingredients.
    Ranger. Again, needs a bit more AoE, but it has potential.
    Druid: more cleave.
    Paladin? If it were changed to a smite-happy soul it could work.

    Tanking: we all know what tanks need. Every calling except warrior has one tank soul. Warriors only need one. This is probably the best balanced niche.

    PvE dps: Every calling needs one ranged and one melee soul designed for raiding. To prevent this niche from stepping on the soloists toes, the specs should be complex and require some ramp up time. To stop them from stepping on the PvP souls toes, they should have less utility and survivability. To make up for this, they should be designed to scale with raid buffs to excel at raw damage.

    Souls in this niche could include:

    Warlock/Harbinger
    Marksman/Bladedancer/Nightblade
    Defiler?/Shaman
    Reaver/Paragon/Riftblade.

    PvP: Souls designed for PvP should be slightly behind in sustained dps, but make up for it with high bursts, utility, and survivability.

    Souls in this niche could include:

    Pyromancer/Elementalist?
    Tempest/Warlord
    Tactician?/Assassin
    Inquisitor/Sentinel?

    AoE DPS: Low single target, High AoE.

    Souls that could fill this niche:

    Stormcaller/Dominator
    Cabalist
    Saboteur
    Champion

    Healing: This niche is fairly well balanced, with cleric having the specialty here. Puri needs a rework though.

    Support: tied with tanking for most balanced niche at present.

    So anyway, those are my thoughts on balancing each soul for a specific role.

  2. #2
    Plane Touched
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    259

    Default

    The only issue I have with your overall analysis is that (imo) you miss the nuance of encounter balance.

    For those of you who were not around for SL, there were 2 encounters were having more of one specific soul made the encounter substantially easier---Proteus and Maelforge. For Proteus you needed very high burst with no ramp up time, enter Tempest. For Maelforge, there was a buff that increased fire damage, enter Pyromancer. This made those specs seem OP, when, in fact, that were just the best at the task at hand.

    The usefulness of a specific spec for a specific encounter is where we have balance issues. People think Reaver is op right now (in PVE, it is kinda OP in pvp) because the encounters of T2 require passive cleave (Matron, King/Prince, Estrode, Zilas), which Revear is head and shoulders the best. In fights which are ST burns, all classes are fairly equal (see Jino and Sicaron).

    What Trion tried to do as, I understand it, is make a simplified spec that could kinda do everything. In principle, that is better for the player base, but it leads (at the cutting edge) to classes being viewed as underpowered.

    I think the base idea of what your are suggesting is correct, but I think you are somewhat oversimplifying the "roles" needed. I am not sure that you can avoid asymmetry in this game. The soul system is just too complex.

    NMT T1: Cleared
    NMT T2: 10/11 HK | 4/4 iGP HM

  3. #3
    Rift Master Dasmani's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    671

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OmegaDagger View Post
    The only issue I have with your overall analysis is that (imo) you miss the nuance of encounter balance.

    For those of you who were not around for SL, there were 2 encounters were having more of one specific soul made the encounter substantially easier---Proteus and Maelforge. For Proteus you needed very high burst with no ramp up time, enter Tempest. For Maelforge, there was a buff that increased fire damage, enter Pyromancer. This made those specs seem OP, when, in fact, that were just the best at the task at hand.

    The usefulness of a specific spec for a specific encounter is where we have balance issues. People think Reaver is op right now (in PVE, it is kinda OP in pvp) because the encounters of T2 require passive cleave (Matron, King/Prince, Estrode, Zilas), which Revear is head and shoulders the best. In fights which are ST burns, all classes are fairly equal (see Jino and Sicaron).

    What Trion tried to do as, I understand it, is make a simplified spec that could kinda do everything. In principle, that is better for the player base, but it leads (at the cutting edge) to classes being viewed as underpowered.

    I think the base idea of what your are suggesting is correct, but I think you are somewhat oversimplifying the "roles" needed. I am not sure that you can avoid asymmetry in this game. The soul system is just too complex.

    I wasn't suggesting, for instance, that Warlock should be the ONLY viable dps ranged spec for mages, just that it should be designed to be the most consistently viable. Pyromancer shouldn't be so far behind as to be unusable, and it could even be optimal under certain encounter conditions.

    The purpose of these suggestions is that every calling will be capable of filling similar roles. If we balance Pyro against Inquisitor in the "pvp ranged" niche, then any encounter in which a Pyromancer is optimal for mages will make Inquisitor equally optimal for clerics, with the exception of Maelforge.

    If we have every soul in the "PvE ranged" niche capable of passive cleaving, then we won't see the dominance of a particular calling when it comes to fights where cleaving is optimal. For example, if we balance warlock against reaver in this niche, both should be equally viable for those fights.

    What we shouldn't do is balance against different niches. For example, we shouldn't balance reaver against Inquisitor because, in this example, they fulfill different roles, with one being burst and one being sustained and one having cleaves while the other has utility.

  4. #4
    Telaran Eudial's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    64

    Default

    You missed that there is ST heal and Raid heal.

    Also I like the idea that 1 spec per calling is the true fun niche in playstyle.
    Like dominator, warlord, assassin and defiler (YMMV).
    Running Experts by moonlight.

    Eudial <Anarchy> - 65 Eth Mage @Wolfsbane

  5. #5
    Rift Master Dasmani's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    671

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eudial View Post
    You missed that there is ST heal and Raid heal.

    Also I like the idea that 1 spec per calling is the true fun niche in playstyle.
    Like dominator, warlord, assassin and defiler (YMMV).

    Gonna be honest, I can't understand you.

+ Reply to Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts