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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Should all World PvP Classes be balanced?

12 posts found
  Rhinotones

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/21/13
Posts: 191

Respect people who speak their mind factually and intelligently, and please, never put anyone down.

 
OP  4/18/13 5:05:14 AM#1

This thread is for those who enjoy World PvP aspects of MMORPG's ( and others who wish to contribute with positive comments).

 

Hiking through a mountain pass weighed down by the spoils of recent victory you round a bend. Suddenly, you're confronted with a player from another faction in the middle of the path, kneeling over the body of, well, you can't quite make it out. Like a game of statues you both freeze as if time itself has stopped, total silence, minds calculate uncomprehendingly fast assessing the situation.

OK, now lets say that in the next scene one of you initiates an attack and lets say you're both Knights, should be an even fight all things being equal.

Now, what about if you're a magican and he a ranger, or a priest, monk, barbarian etc, should it still always be a fairly even match up?

As a novel idea, what if a Knight  generally defeats a Magican 9 times out of 10, and a Magician  defeats a Ranger, and a Ranger beats a Priests and so on. So now we have a game where PvP classes are quite unbalanced and all classes are strong against some classes, maybe equal with some and weak against the rest. 

If all classes had equal amounts of classes they could defeat as well as be defeated by in a one on one scenario would this type of world PvP dynamic interest you?

 

 

Should all PvP classes be equally balanced?

YES
DEPENDS (please explain)
NO
(login to vote)

  Caliburn101

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/11
Posts: 647

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein

4/18/13 5:23:06 AM#2

Class imbalance, the old 'paper-scissors-stone' approach to PvP is not a great way to run a game.

It has it's proponents of course, but there are many who hate being owned regardless of player skill because one class cannot really lose against another.

PvP players of course take full advantage of this ad nauseam and it positively encourages ganking and res-point camping.

For the majority of people, the most satisfying victories come after a challenge. This is the mainstream of human nature.

It would seem to stand to reason that as well as can be balanced classes are a must for good PvP in MMOs.

Perfect balance can of course never exist, but it is not beyond the ken of developers to create a game where every class has a chance against another, and skill is a significant part of it.

I usually get the impression where devs mess this up is in developing the PvE balancing (an altogether easier proposition) before the PvP balance when designing classes.

Surely a game would be better served ensuring - through reiterative and exhaustive testing, the PvP balance between classes is done first, and then the PvE mobs and challenges designed around the shape of the classes coming out of the PvP testing phase?

Getting PvP balance wrong and then having to constantly tweak or redesign classes with the subsequent necessity for PvE encounter rebalancing just creates vast amounts of downstream work for no reason.

This should be a risk costed into the preliminary project strategy and then given the due amount of time and resource before the PvE parts of the game are worked on.

Just my two pence on the issue...

  Adamantine

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3309

War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

4/18/13 7:34:56 AM#3

Balance between classes in their power is very important in a PvP game.

But perfect balance is impossible, unless either the classes are very simple (and even then its hardly possible) or everybody plays the same character (and even then the person who moves first will have the advantage).

So I think a good start for a relatively well balanced PvP game should start by using a paper-scissors-stone approach. So, assuming an odd number of classes, half of the classes in the game should always be in the advantage and the other half in the disadvantage against any class, equal player skill and equal other conditions (such as health, buffs, level, secondary ressources etc) assumed, and of course the same class against itself is always balanced 50:50, no additional work by the developers required.

This way, even if the game balance in the end is, as it always will be, not perfect, there is at least no class that is slaughtered by just everybody else, and thus not played at all.

However, it shouldnt be in the way described by the OP. A 90:10 chance is definitely too high. We should start with a clear advantage and then slowly change classes until we hopefully meet the quota of about 60:40 in every possible scenario. And the strategy of each class against any other class shouldnt be set in stone, either. A player of high skill should always kill a player who doesnt have spend much thought on how to play his class effectively.

It only gets worse when you realize that of course 1vs1 is just a small part of PvP. There is also NvsN and NvsM. Class synergies of all kinds can appear and can make certain combinations of classes far superior over others. And in a NvsM fight you always want the underdog N people group, N < M, to still stand some kind of chance. So for example you want a well played single character to beat two awfully played attackers.

Actually designing a good PvP class system is a titanic task and is in the end only possible by examining real data of practical PvP battles - which class clearly seems to have too much power, and which other clearly too little, and then carefully start tweaking the classes.

 

  Volkon

Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 3813

Facts do not require fiction for balance.

4/18/13 7:47:09 AM#4
Have to go with a "yes" on this. Any class should be able to beat any other class when all things are relatively equal. Let the player skill be the deciding factor.

Oderint, dum metuant.

  Laeesh

Novice Member

Joined: 3/19/13
Posts: 89

4/18/13 7:51:45 AM#5

i like the rock, scissor, paper approach, because for me it just makes sense. A crafter can build incredible buildings and other things, it´s his job and those great crafters out there are great in doing so. While warriors need to be great in destroying those building´s and people. A craftsman wins building things, the warrior wins fightins and destroying thing. Just natural for me and i´m fine with the downside´s that if i am a travelling craftsman and got stabbed by a rogue (who´s buisness is stabbing people) jeah im dead and that´s the way it goes.

 

I don´t think it´s funny to be stabbed but reasoned in this example.

 

*Edit* on a side note, i think it is "skill" as well considering the situation and win chances between classes. It´s the situation that is important. Imagine a fight in "The Depth´s" with well build trap´s and other vicious craftsman stuff, he influenced the "situation" and as a result the craftsman has achieved his goal to manipulate the "fight circumstances" and helped his mates fighting the enemies.

  Quirhid

Novice Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5492

I dare you to pin a label on me.

4/18/13 8:15:19 AM#6

Balance and "hard counters" are two different things. For example, the game of rock paper scissors is balanced: Every option has a sensible counter (making all options equally viable) and in this case, they are also hard counters. And what does hard counter mean? -Well it means that no matter how well you play you option, you are unlikely to win the situation.

Now should a game have hard counters is debatable but what it should always, always, always strive for, is balance.

I suggest you edit your OP and topic a bit.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Adamantine

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3309

War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

4/19/13 2:58:14 AM#7

Um, no ?

The game 'rock-paper-scissors' is NOT balanced.

For example, scissors always lose against rock. This is as unbalanced as in any way possible.

 

  Laeesh

Novice Member

Joined: 3/19/13
Posts: 89

4/19/13 3:04:09 AM#8
Originally posted by Adamantine

Um, no ?

The game 'rock-paper-scissors' is NOT balanced.

For example, scissors always lose against rock. This is as unbalanced as in any way possible.

 

hmm in the sense of rock-scissors-paper i think that´s not right. In this 3 sided form everyaspect has a counterpart. Read up "Quirhid" post, he clearly explain´s what rock-scissors-paper is all about with balancing in mind. =)

 

*Edit* i think you personally want to have every class comepetable with every other classes, this is not given in rock-sci-paper so i guess from your point of view it is clear that rock-paper-sci as a system is not balanced. It depend´s on personal aspect´s, but the system itself is balanced because of the counterpart´s, it´s just more of a social system because you need the other´s (scissors/paper) to react on certain situation where you will find you counterpart beating you up, but your mates take care of the enemy at this point and you "support"

  Adamantine

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3309

War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

4/19/13 3:42:34 AM#9

Again: the game rock-paper-scissors isnt balanced, if it was a PvP MMO.

As a rock, you wouldnt even bother to use any abilities anymore if you met a paper. You knew you had lost anyway. Why delay the unavoidable.

While with scissors, you'd be annoyed that you would still have to press any buttons to actually win, because you won already anyway and this lousy opponent just stands no chance.

At worst is rock meeting rock, though. They would fight without end, nobody ever gaining the upper hand.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

4/19/13 11:22:54 AM#10

Of course they should be balanced, unless you want to see only Class X running around because it's overpowered.

Class counters (rock-paper-scissors) is one method of balancing, even though it tends to not be a wholly fun method since the game is basically "Sorry you made the wrong choice at the start of the game 500 hours ago." during certain PVP fights against your counter.

If "race counters" existed and you were locked into one race forever, Starcraft 2 PVP would be utterly uninteresting.

But if you're not locked into one class in an MMORPG, class counters can actually work.  Nobody complains of a TF2 Heavy beating a Pyro, because once that pyro dies he can come back as a Sniper or Demoman and easily kill the heavy.

So for class counters to work you'd need to be able to switch classes multiple times before the battle was over.  The problem is that it's a little awkward to achieve that in a world PVP system, so it makes a little more sense to simply have classes be well-balanced from the start like a race in Starcraft: no matter what you choose, victory is dependant on player skill.

Of course world PVP is shallow PVP where 95% of fights are predetermined by who brought more players, so one could argue that 95% of the time class balance isn't even relevant, and that they're satisfied with shallow PVP (which many players are.)

  Drakynn

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/08
Posts: 2051

4/19/13 11:29:59 AM#11

Sides should be balanced as a whole because MMORPGs should be about achieving things as groups and shouldn't be balanced around 1v1 encounters.If you want 1v1 pvp go paly  any FPS deathmatch.But of course that is my preference and opinion and the majority will always prevail.

  Quirhid

Novice Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5492

I dare you to pin a label on me.

4/19/13 4:51:38 PM#12
Originally posted by Adamantine

Again: the game rock-paper-scissors isnt balanced, if it was a PvP MMO.

As a rock, you wouldnt even bother to use any abilities anymore if you met a paper. You knew you had lost anyway. Why delay the unavoidable.

While with scissors, you'd be annoyed that you would still have to press any buttons to actually win, because you won already anyway and this lousy opponent just stands no chance.

At worst is rock meeting rock, though. They would fight without end, nobody ever gaining the upper hand.

What you are talking about is class counters, not balance. Balance means that, ideally, every option in the game is equally viable. RPS fulfills this requirement.

Oh, and the mirror matchup you suggest is not the worst case of anything. It is actually the one instance player skill actually matters. It is odd that you thought it would somehow end in a stalemate.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky