Balance is nearly impossible unless you have 1 single class, with identical locked stats, with identical locked weapons, with identical skills, and 0 variation. Basically an old school FPS with 1 weapon option is the only way to truly balance classes in an MMORPG. But that removes a lot of the “why” MMO fans PVP in MMOs rather than FPS style games, the depth and the ability to feel like you “made” your character uniquely lethal for yourself.
So how can we get MORE, not entire, but MORE balance in an MMORPG? Easy, you don’t. Forget balance. F’ balance. F’ it with a giant e-spoon! Balance is boring. If our lives were in perfect balance we would all be sitting around bored outta our minds wishing for a bit of chaos to pop up and remind us that we are still alive.
Personally I miss being on the battlefield and seeing the OP flavor of the month step out and either A. (if I have a group) targeting them to humble them or B. (if I’m alone) Throwing every snare and de-buff that I have at them then running away before they can get to me.
I’m not saying I like MASSIVELY OP classes, but I do enjoy the rotating door of class balance resulting in some classes that are obviously more lethal (which soon become FOTMs). Maybe it’s the alter in me? Maybe it’s the thrill seeker? Maybe it’s that I just love chaos? I’m not sure, BUT, if I was CSE I would seriously consider secretly giving some classes a bump every other month just to create more imbalance, then later bringing them back down to normal while bumping a different class.
If you haven’t noticed my strategy to counter things like corruption or imbalance is never to make it more illegal, it’s to embrace it, make it legal, then try working with it. Why? Because those things are part of human nature. No matter where you go people will be doing those sneaky things. Rather than pretend they don’t happen and let them go crazy with it, it’s better to acknowledge them and regulate them. Look at prohibition if you don’t agree with me. All it ever succeeded in doing was making criminals richer (some of them even turned their crime families into presidential families /wink).
So back on track. Balance, who needs it? Not me, WITHIN REASON. I don’t expect every single class to be perfectly in line with one another, and I don’t want them to be, but if we come out with a single class that can 1 shot all the other classes we have a problem (even my “longer you live stronger you become” idea would NEVER go that far). Being 1 shot is never fun, it’s anticlimactic and it makes you think “what was the point”. BUT if it takes a couple of other classes to beat you that might be kinda fun. If it takes a VERY skilled player to overcome you that is interesting (and makes them into a hero). If you jump on a FOTM only to have it secretly nerfed next month making some other class slightly uber that might create just a pinch of chaos.
“But Tierless, purposely making one class better isn’t fair! /ragequit”
I’m sure a lot of players think that concept is insane/game breaking/unfair. Well, I got news for ya, I’ve played MMOs for 10 years now, and I’ve never seen one that was perfectly balanced. Balance is a lie, there is only nerfing and buffing.
Through buffing, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken (unchained BAM! ;).
The nerf bat shall free me.
MMOs are all unbalanced. We can pretend they aren’t and try for the impossible (perfect balance) or we can embrace imbalance and make it an interesting part of the game (again, within reason).