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  1. #1
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    Balance help needed...

    Feel free to call me crazy, but I have my reasons...

    I need some brainstorming for balancing my game, which for the moment if you will imagine this... imagine that you can pick any profession in GW2, any race, but also imagine that you can pick any weapon as well. So as a thief you could use long-ranged weapons, or as an elementalist you could use melee weapons like what a warrior can wield. Surely some combinations will be bad, that is a given and to some extent avoiding those is a sign that the player has understood something about the game.

    But...

    Suppose now that your role is to balance all that mess, with the goal to make as many weapon-profession combos viable as possible. How do you go about it? What do you need in order to do your job?

    -----

    At this point I am more worried about making sure that I have everything so that I *can* balance the game *fairly easily*, that is, that I don't get myself in a position where balancing it would require major reprogramming. That is, I want to make sure I have all the right balancing tools. That means that anything that is relevant to balancing should be soft-coded, i.e. easy to change.

    Also, I want some guidelines to make sure that my wild ideas can be balanced, so that I avoid having to remove components that I added previously. Gamers don't like it when stuff is removed from a game, obviously, even if there's a good balance reason for it.

    -----

    Ideas, comments, discuss... HELP !!!
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  2. #2
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    It's hard to say without playing the game. Maybe it's already balanced /shrug

    If you're committed to making every weapon usable for every class, then you're likely looking at penalties a la D&D: When you're not proficient in a weapon, you suffer a penalty to your attack or whatever. So a Warrior trying to use something that requires like a finesse wouldn't be as good with it (at least not at first - if you're adding ways to compensate, super), and an Elementalist trying to use a bow would miss a lot, etc.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I was planning to add penalties, but only to balance. Once penalties are counted, the different options should be as viable.

    A high-mobility race for example might have an aiming penalty, especially while moving, especially to ranged weapons. But that race might also get a buff to melee (like blocking). This to encourage it to get personal rather than stay safe and grief.
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  4. #4
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    Sounds like you have it figured out.

  5. #5
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    The general idea, yeah, but I could really use brainstorming to gain insight on what kinds of stuff people do that becomes super hard to balance... or what general balance mistakes people do.
    == Alaris & clone ==
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  6. #6
    Perfect Conceptual Balance with variety: Rock, Paper, Scissors

    It makes no sense a piece of paper can beat a rock, but that's how it is. However, a team of all rock will lose to a team of all paper and so forth, thus devolving into "Build Wars", where victory is determined by what you roll again.

    Actual perfect balance: everyone is a stick figure with same stats on everything and has a stick that does X damage. Then you need to balance the healing Y and everyone gets bored.


    To summarize, perfect balance is pretty damn impossible. The more variables you throw in, the harder balancing becomes. The less variables you use, the more boring the game becomes. A considerable amount of playtesting is required to actually get a good idea of which classes and combos are "unbalanced", though this is not necessarily a bad thing. Assassins for example are the best spiking class in 1v1, but glass cannons otherwise. Rangers as "Jack of all trades" class are probably the best balanced class in the game, but due to other classes excelling at one point, the Ranger becomes one of the "underpowered" and thus underused classes, though it may find a use in groups.
    If you're going to allow all weapon options to all classes, you're probably going to get in trouble. Each class will at one point have a weapon that is best in most general situations, and with weapon switching it'll probably differ between 2-3 tops (e.g. Ranger switching between Long/Flatbow and Recurve, lol Horn and Shortbows). Classes that work better in melee, or rather, do not suffer from some kind of penalty, will choose melee weapons over ranged, etc...

    All in all, ANet's choice of limiting class access to certain weaponry may be a good option, since it greatly reduces complexity to balance things, plus they have the added "advantage" of skill rebalance options to balance the weapons.

    Balancing in games is a ***** though, tried to do it for an RTS game with only a few class types with Attack Power, Def Power, Range and HP as only parameters, and some flavour like "Hovercraft" and stuff. Gave up on it because the robots didn't really operate properly and the balance I got wouldn't have worked properly for the short time we had to give the demo in...plus we didn't get graded for it

  7. #7
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    You make a good point about all-weapons all-classes, I might have to drop that idea for the sake of balance. But I will try it anyway. Having access to all weapons means that yes, some will be better, but it should not be me who enforces that rather the players who choose appropriately. Optimally, there will be many good choices... but in the worse case the difference between best and worse should not be too big.

    I think part of the balance issue is the lack of good constants to balance with. For example, reducing damage to balance for mobility is a poor idea because these two things do different things. The lower damage means that stuff takes longer to die, regardless of how well you play. I was thinking that reducing bullet speed to compensate for mobility might thus be a better idea... so you need to be closer to your foe in order to do the same dps, but that's ok because you have higher mobility to dodge shots.
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  8. #8
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    I really, really like the idea of all weapons all classes, to be honest. One thing that bugs me is when my favorite class can't use my favorite weapon.

    Oh, you should also totally include flails. No one ever puts them in and they're awesome. Also, whips that go WTSH.

  9. #9
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    Like this?



    But yeah, I think whips and flails are harder to implement because they are not solid. It requires a lot more animations. I'll think about it though...
    == Alaris & clone ==
    Proud Officer of The Order Of Dii [Dii] - join us
    You can tell the quality of life of people by what they complain about

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