Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 21
03-10-2010, 01:30 PM
Also, I think many gamers lack any provided definition of 'balance'.

What does 'balance' mean to the developers of a game? What does 'balance' mean to the developers of -this- game?

From observation, I would posit that 'game balance' generally means 'equal potential for success'. I would also suggest that 'equal potential' does not mean 'equal means', nor does it necessarily mean a simple relationship between measures and counter-measures. It does mean access to different advantages, and different abilities to exploit different weaknesses.

Using this definition of balance, I would point to the previous answers to the question of why a game like this needs balance when real life does not:

-consequences/penalties are far different between real life and this game

-this game is marketed to a certain demographic of customers paying for entertainment; not having an equal chance of success is not entertaining to the majority of this game's customers (although it is still entertaining to some of us)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 22
03-10-2010, 01:33 PM
Games should only be imbalanced if it's intended, like a handicap. If you're not trying to take a handicap then you don't want one through some accident of game design.

That said,
a) "mirror games" are a lazy design solution to the balance problem
b) a lot of people are quick to leap on the "unbalanced!" claim long before all options have been tried.


Sometimes, things in a game truly are unbalanced. This can be especially visible in an RTS, where some build order gets developed that is simply "the best" as in it literally cannot be beaten with anything other than that same build order. (Or it can be beaten but only if the player using a different build order is an order of magnitude more skilled than the player using the "overpowered" build order.)

In cases like that, you simply have to fix the balance issue.


The time to QQ is after you have tried all possibilities, discussed it with other people and come to the indisputable conclusion that some design element is overpowered.

e.g., Viral Matrix was definitely overpowered. It was getting to the point that everyone had multiple copies of it because it was just so much better than any other ability that could take the same position. It had to be nerfed. After the nerf it's still really good but it's not quite the doom-ball it used to be.

Similarly, the split beam rifle was overpowered in ground combat in the sense that the weapon's stats were so good, no other weapon really made sense to carry. So the devs reduced the stats on it and buffed the stats on some other weapons and now the choice is a lot more interesting (on the test server).


The problem of QQ vs Sun Tzu is when someone cries to the devs too soon, without having considered and seriously tried other solutions.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
03-10-2010, 02:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slamz
Games should only be imbalanced if it's intended, like a handicap. If you're not trying to take a handicap then you don't want one through some accident of game design.

The problem of QQ vs Sun Tzu is when someone cries to the devs too soon, without having considered and seriously tried other solutions.
I hear what you all are saying, and I do agree with you. Matt and Slamz are two of my favorite posters because of the well thought out and unique aspects that both of them contribute. Both speak from a wide base of experience and neither take things personally.

There will always be a combo that is better than the average bear and when it gets discovered, people will either flock to it, or build to counter it. That is the same with any MMO. One side will always have numbers on the other, and one side will attract more hardcore pvpers than the other. Generally, the Naughty side will be full of the PVPers, and the Sparkly Pony side will get the numbers. Another factor is that the Naughty side does more damage and the sparkly side gets the defenses. This has been a game design theme for quite a while...and it is really annoying.

I have always been against consensual pvp. I have always like the grief factor. I like the danger and excitement level from knowing that you CAN die at any moment, and that you are never safe. Some day, I hope to have enough money to have the game of my dreams created...so i can play it. Until then, I have to deal with the carebears of the world and play what I can.

I am rambling...

What I am saying is that one side will have advantages the other side doesn't, and vice versa. You see the advantages from the other side of the fence, and a poor gamer will cry nerf. The skilled player will see them for what they are and learn to adapt.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 24
03-10-2010, 02:49 PM
It boils down to a society that values the individuals ego and feelings . Devs use this as a means to exploit for profit the concept of fair and balnced . So long as everyone tastes victory , in whatever manner , their ego's are satisfied enough to continue paying and playing . An MMO that doesn't offer this potential is really a non-viable entity, at least as a profit generator. Hence no serious death penalty , leveling systems , ease of content progression . Failure and frustration are not good for business. They make for good life lessons , but people want an escape so they come to games to feeling good about themselves.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 25
03-10-2010, 02:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunatec View Post
I

I have always been against consensual pvp. I have always like the grief factor. I like the danger and excitement level from knowing that you CAN die at any moment, and that you are never safe. Some day, I hope to have enough money to have the game of my dreams created...so i can play it. Until then, I have to deal with the carebears of the world and play what I can.

.
You should have tried the Vanguard pvp server then . The only bad thing about it was a teleportation hack that allowed people to transport around the world.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 26
03-10-2010, 03:04 PM
Lunatec, thanks for your service to our country (I mean that very sincerely).

Weren't you on the "overpowered side" if you fought for our country? I don't think your metaphor works at all.

Balance is CRITICAL in a game (not real life). The entire point in a game is sport. Sport is founded on the idea that personal skill and teamwork are the deciding factors for victory.

You wouldnt put 5 guys against 3 in basketball, or field 14 players on the football field against a standard team...

The queue system in this game needs attention. Balancing the number of players would go a long way towards making the game more fun.

There should be a consequence for leaving a match before its over.

As far as cloak - its fine EXCEPT for the fact that it is infinite. I would like to see a limitation to cloak that removes the wait time for the fighting to start. Feds need to have a legitimate chance of finding klingon ships, or they will continue to sit around and wait for the klings to attack. It's nearly impossible given the current abilities to find a cloaked ship when they can anywhere in the entire arena and your sensor scan reveals less than 1% of the battlefield. Current cloak revealing abilities are only good for responding to battle cloak. A little bit of cloaked cat and mouse could be a fun change to the game.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 27
03-10-2010, 03:49 PM
I have never known how to respond people thanking me for my service...but I guess I will say you're welcome.

As for balance, sure, it should be something to strive for, but never to be expected.

As for the cloak thing, I ain't touching that subject in this thread.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 28
03-10-2010, 05:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunatec View Post
When gamers go to war...

"Sir, the enemy is using the roadside bomb exploit!"
"The Army is too OP, they need to be nerfed!!"
"NATO has been called in to the enemies side because they feel that the war needs to be balanced"
"ZOMG!! That sniper shot me through the wall!! This is not working as intended, NERF THEM!!"
"The developers of the War on Terror are idiots! That's it! I am canceling my sub to the war!!"

What I half expect to hear with new recruits

"Where do the enemies spawn so we can camp them"
"Can I get power leveled to general?"
"I just tea-bagged the enemy, why am I getting court marshaled?"


I guess what I am trying to say is this: Real life war doesn't have balance. Why should a game?

Discuss, respectfully.
RL does not have Magical Healing Spells, magical Fire balls, mesmerizing abilities, Stun Locks, Entangling Roots, Fears, HOTs and DOTs and all the Fantasy based unrealistic imaginary Powers and abilities.

That is why.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 29
03-10-2010, 07:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
RL does not have Magical Healing Spells, magical Fire balls, mesmerizing abilities, Stun Locks, Entangling Roots, Fears, HOTs and DOTs and all the Fantasy based unrealistic imaginary Powers and abilities.

That is why.
Just because you haven't seen something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. There are also different forms of some techniques that produce similar results.

(Giving a nod to PSYOPS, among other things.)

Besides which, if real life did have some wildly powerful ability -- let's name one 'nuclear weapons' -- would there be some balance imposed by some greater external authority?

Real world 'balance' comes from self-moderation, due to the fact that there are harsh consequences for actions in real.

So the question still remains, should there be imposed balance in a game, where there are far fewer consequences? Again, it depends on the game, the rules of that game, and who the target audience (player base) is.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 30
03-10-2010, 08:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx View Post
If you are saying that every advantage needs an equally large disadvantage, then I suppose I agree. If you aren't, then... I really have no idea what you are trying to say
What did I say again? Yeah, thats what Im saying....was it that badly written?
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