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The paradox: Arguing for balance, Time to rustle them Jimmies
Frostyarmy
post 2 Mar 2017, 18:37
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State of balance in PVP

There is no question in a lot of games you run into an issue where something doesn't seem quite fair does it? X is stronger then Y and thats unfair. X tactic is stronger then Y tactic and make the game stale.
You can go on and on about what needs changed and why.

This can be a strong issue for mod developers and game developers alike. You end up getting a group of testers who argue about the state of balance in a incomplete game. Which is completely nonsensical to say the least.

In generals zero hour for example no matter how many times you try. USA Airforce general vs Infantry is always gonna be a very difficult uphill battle for airforce. It doesn't matter what you do. Or try to change stat wise. A faction will undoubtedly have an advantage over another given the correct circumstances.

A Perfect Infantry general will always beat a perfect Airforce general.

But you know whats the best part? NOBODY IS PERFECT, and there are to many variables to consider.

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Psychological warfare
Unit placement
Locations of the supplies
Size of the map
Sample size and how many games placed
Are all players in a adequate environment to play optimally
How much time spent playing each faction
Skill ceiling on said faction needed to play at an optimal level
etc etc etc...


Understanding meta shifts: and why it keeps a game fresh.



Your playing that new mod or game and it adds a unit that is so strong that it shakes the fundamentals of the gameplay. Its unstoppable it has very little counter play. Its the forging of a new meta. The shockwave .951 bradley or the v1.04 ZH MDvee for example.

Your gonna get your list of players who complain it isn't fair or just or the execution is cheesey. but you also have players who work around problems instead of complaining. And those become some of the best players in the community.

Once a Developer team grows wise to this (League of legends Riot games is famous for this) Instead of trying to make everything nice and fair. They change it up a bit. Make something else weak and make something else strong. Change a couple of numbers around and its almost like you have a fresh new game to discover. This is called META SHIFTING and its what makes this company so dam popular. Because every time you log on SOMETHING IS NEW. Be it code or content.
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Look my point is stop arguing about balance and the state of why something is or is not fair. Just be happy the content was created for you to begin with.


This post has been edited by Zhao: 2 Mar 2017, 18:43
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Chappi55
post 2 Mar 2017, 19:20
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Well in my opinion if games were created ~balanced there would be no point in creating various sides as you would feel the same playing every side.
I'm not an expert on this but it doesn't really matter that much since generals is not an esports competitive game so as long as you don't have stupidly overpowered units vs stupidly underpowered units I'd say theres no sense spending months tweaking weapon values to 2 decimal points.


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X1Destroy
post 3 Mar 2017, 11:45
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Those who want perfect balance should play mirror matches. There, it's pure skill.

I like having a game with alots of units and tons of options to choose. If it's impossible to balance because there are too many factions, then so be it.

We are playing games, we're supposed to have fun. The more contents the better. Wasting dev time on craps like this is just not worth it.



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XoGamer
post 6 Mar 2017, 20:22
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Whilst in Chess, white always goes first it may seem that white has an advantage - However, you must consider that whatever white's move will be, black gets to go second and therefore can easily counter whatever move white starts with and thats how they balance out. Even if there are very strong openings when playing as white they usually consists of opening up a weakness (think Queen's Gambit) that black can easily take advantage of.


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Sharpnessism
post 4 Jun 2017, 23:19
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QUOTE
This can be a strong issue for mod developers and game developers alike. You end up getting a group of testers who argue about the state of balance in a incomplete game. Which is completely nonsensical to say the least.


Depends if the problem is something minor (e.g. the cost or stats on a unit/building) or something fundamentally flawed, as well as how far along the game is.

Generally by the time a game has reached its beta phase it should be focused on making good balance changes IMO.

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In generals zero hour for example no matter how many times you try. USA Airforce general vs Infantry is always gonna be a very difficult uphill battle for airforce. It doesn't matter what you do. Or try to change stat wise. A faction will undoubtedly have an advantage over another given the correct circumstances.


In fact a good USAF > good Inf. The better the play the worse the outcome is for Inf in 1.04.

It is counterintuitive because the casual observer/player will see how Inf has natural counters to USAF, but in reality it's the opposite since KR>TC/outpost, S&D vees+flashbangs>man spam, KR, MDs, & TOWvees>lix, and of course USAF always has the option to go for dozer hunting using combat chinook.

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Once a Developer team grows wise to this (League of legends Riot games is famous for this) Instead of trying to make everything nice and fair. They change it up a bit. Make something else weak and make something else strong. Change a couple of numbers around and its almost like you have a fresh new game to discover. This is called META SHIFTING and its what makes this company so dam popular. Because every time you log on SOMETHING IS NEW. Be it code or content.


Casual audiences love new content. Even if the gameplay is exactly the same, they will eat up the DLCs/microtransactions/whatever's the next new game as long as it has a critical mass of players and it isn't obviously terrible on release.

Your argument applies less so to game design and more to milking all the money you can out of a game/franchise, which Riot is truly excellent at (I have nothing against them for doing so). Moreover, Riot doesn't really have to worry too much about balancing PVP since both sides not only have access to the same pool of champions, but can actually use the same ones.

A game with good balance just means that the developer has put in the effort into giving each side equally viable options at high levels of play. PVP games aren't as fun if 1 faction/class has a 99-1 winrate against everyone else (since that quickly leads to homogenization of gameplay and therefore fewer choices available for players to make).

Of course, there is more to a PVP game than balance, but since balance can only really be achieved with a good number of patches (AKA post-release support), it's the sign of a good developer to put forth steps to try and make their game more fun.

This is all with the assumption of course that the goal of the developer is to create a good PVP game.

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Look my point is stop arguing about balance and the state of why something is or is not fair. Just be happy the content was created for you to begin with.


If we're talking about a mod or some tiny development studio sure. But any commercially successful or AAA game should really be held to a higher standard.

Generally I've found that the gaming community is under-critical of games before purchasing them, hence why DLC/microtransaction abuse has persisted.

This post has been edited by Sharpnessism: 4 Jun 2017, 23:33
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