With so many new free MMORPGs out on the market there are bound to be games where one class is either extremely over powered or absurdly gimp. The biggest problem with class imbalances are that developers rarely fix them. This isn’t a new problem either. Some MMORPGs have been plagued with class imbalances for years and they choose to ignore them.
The best example of an MMORPG with imbalanced classes is Zero Online. The game only has two classes; Artillery and Infantry. You’d imagine that a game with only two playable classes would at the very least be somewhat balanced, but nope. The artillery class is ridiculously over powered compared to the infantry class. To put these two classes into “fantasy MMORPG” terms the artillery class is a wizard while the infantry class is a warrior. The artillery class can basically annihilate the entire screen in a few seconds using huge laser cannons that can hit 20+ enemies at a time while the infantry class can only attack a single enemy at a time using a sword. Because enemies die incredibly fast, there is absolutely no reason to not play the game’s artillery class. TQ Digital, the developers of Zero Online, have a reputation for being lazy, as their two other games; Crazy Tao and Eudemons also have 2-3 classes and play almost identically to Zero Online. Both Crazy Tao and Eudemons also have the same problem as Zero Online. The Mage class is absurdly overpowered.
Another example of an MMORPG that suffers from imbalanced classes is Dark Age of Camelot (DAoC). DAoC is actually a pay to play game (P2P), so even P2P games have imbalances. The game has a lot of classes, but with a lot of classes comes imbalances. World of Warcraft’s developers were smart enough to only create a handful of playable classes as having too many different classes usually results in game imbalances. In DAoC the two imbalances are warrior and enchanter. Warriors are incredibly gimp while enchanters are absurdly over powered. In DAoC to gauge a monster’s strength, all you have to do is click them. Depending on what color their name is in they are that difficult to kill. The scale from hardest to easiest goes like this; Purple [Very Very Hard], Red [Very Hard], Orange [Hard], Yellow [Even Fight], Blue [Easy], Green [Very Easy] and Gray [Very Very Easy, No XP Gained]. A warrior will usually never be able to kill anything rated as “orange [hard]” to him at any given time by himself, and if he does manage to, he’ll come close to death. An Enchanter on the other hand, would have absolutely no problem killing 5-7 monsters at a time marked as “orange [hard] to him. Not only can an enchanter kill more monsters than the warrior at a time, the enchanter will also kill the larger group of monsters at a much faster speed. Other than these two imbalances, the other classes in DAoC are pretty fairly balanced.
There are plenty of other examples of imbalances classes in games, but they’re mostly in less popular games. Popular games like Maple Story and Fly For Fun usually fix imbalances often. Hopefully, developers will spend a bit more time balancing classes as there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing someone of equal level to you being incredibly over powered.