Classes - Balacing 64 Classes and Classes Preview

ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
edited September 2017 in Ashes of Creation Design
Hi, some members of the community were just discussing in discord about the 64 classes.


Balacing 64 classes for PVE, for PVP, for 8 man Groups, for 40 man Raids is an huge and hard task.

Each Archetype will have 10 to 12 active skills choosen from a pool of 30 skills. That's a lot of skills for the Archetypes, add the Augment class and it's just too much. Its unlikely that all will be good and relevant at all niches.

Unless the Augment class does not change the Archetype that much.
If the Augment class just simply changes the flavor of some skills of the Archetype, then it's really not balacing 64 classes, but 8. That's doable for all niches. 

Then with time they could slowly implement more flavors to more skills since adding more Archetypes is difficult because we already have 64 classes.


How do you think that balacing 64 classes for all aspects of the game is possible?
Post your ideas and thoughts please.





Another topic is the Classes respeccing and preview

Since the Archetype can not be changed and the Augment class can but with a cost (currency cost or a big quest chain or even both) and a big cooldown, what do you think of a little class spin at the characther creation?

When choosing the Archetype, let us give it a little spin, a small and simple quest with mobs to kill and heal so we could choose the Archetype and the future Augment class.

It would minimize players need to reroll a class at low and mid lvl because they saw a class they would like better or noticed they don't like theirs so much. With a little "preview" of the Archetype and Augment, it would minimize those casting errors at the beginning for everyone.

Would you like to give it a demonstration spin?





Comments

  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    My main issue that was brought up in the discord isn't stated in the OP so I'll bring it up here.

    A few people were expressing the idea of "Choices Matter" In regards to restricting respeccing of sub-classes in some way. Say time gating respeccing or making it cost a lot. The idea here is to force people to stay with their main/sub class combo to be more immersive and force them into a choice.

    My argument against this is that players who want to be optimal are forced into making multiple alts or farming a lot of currency a lot in order to either cover the costs of respeccing or avoid the time gate. It simply isn't plausible that 1 spec will be optimal for all aspects of the game so if I want to participate in all aspects of the game and be optimal I would have to bypass the timegate or extra cost of respeccing somehow. So for a player like me who only wants to play optimaly, the choice doesn't matter, the time matters.

    If respeccing sub classes was low cost, or even free and easy, then I would only need my 1 mage to be able to play my mage as optimal as it could be played in all aspects of the game by changing my sub class based on what aspect of the game I was participating in. The only case I'd make an alt in this case is if I wanted to play a different class.

    Edit: Regarding the OP. What I've stated here is semi-relevant and besides that I'd like to give my 2 cents.

    If the sub-classes are so easily respeccable it makes the need to balanced all 64 classes across each game type less of a need. It makes it feel more like balancing 8 classes across all game types with the hope that each sub-class at least has it's niche.

    I also like the idea of being able to try out sub-classes cause if you have to level your sub-classes then you won't risk wasting time leveling the wrong sub-classes since you can try them out before you pick.
  • I agree with the statement of not balancing the Archetypes. I think it's always been clear that secondary classes will augment primary abilities, therefore I think it will only be necessary to balance the primary class abilities.

    Using the warrior example of a charge ability, augmenting with a mage will turn charge to a blink, but the range, cast time and damage would stay the same, it might add an extra "blind" like ability due to the flash, but if you can counter a standard charge on a class, what stops you from countering the buffed charge? 

    My understanding of class structure may be off, but I think this is how it should work. Players may have a play style, or particular set of skills they use or turn into "meta", but fundamentally the primary class skills should remain the same and only change slightly with secondary classes augment.

    As far as respec, if the world changes as much as the devs are hoping, you'll most certainly need to re-spec, because each node might have different mob or element types that require different damage types. I think it should be included, but at what cost I don't know.
  • I don't think respecing should be a "on a whim" sort of thing. "Risk vs Reward", "Choices matter", and "Character identity" are important to Intrepid and being able to change your class on the fly goes against those principles.

    As for balancing, I think Peter said it best during the Pax livestream. It will take a lot of testing on their and our behalf. 
  • Making main class locked and secondary class changeable sounds very reasonable solution and this is also most likely what we will have. I dont see that we are going to see massive balancing between 64 class combinations, because those augments most likely boost and changes abilities just slightly, giving it a little bit different flavor. Also races will have some augments so it wont be too, so if all augments would be powerful, then there will be lots of problems with balancing. ;) So i see its more like balancing 8 main class with each other.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    I too thought about making a thread like this, but I think that more information would have to be given before this

    Specifically, more information on Combat Mechanics. My first guess is speculate from ❝ Scratch ❞ . And go from there. Or rather, that's what I did xD

    ( Referring to my Summoner Thread and all of my suggested Primary Archetype-Blends ... Not so much Secondary yet xD )

    One thing for sure - I dislike Respecting at ❝ a  moments notice ❞ - you cant be everything , you got to be contempt with it

    For example ...

    ... Oh gee, you need a tank/ off-tank ? I'll just respect my Secondary Archetype to readjust. Then I'll grab my Tank-Gear ❞

    ( Even though the Primary-Archetype will always be dominant )

     BUT if Secondary-Archetype grants ... Passive-taunt/ Passive aggro ... Then having a Handful of Secondary Tanks

    ( X/ Tank )

    Might be do-able. 
    But it's still too much of an assumption to go on without more Combat-Mechanics ; because then you could build from those and optimize it
    In short, in Combat, there's Abilities, Long-range exploiting [ ❝ kiting while attacking ❞ ] , Ultimate Abilities and Utility Abilities.

    What else ?
    ( side note: I still don't like the term Ultimate Abilities )

    These things in itself are important because it's something that'll constantly be presented to Players

    So how about ... Having the environment affect the course of combat ? Tripping over a rock or Tree Root, Uneven Pavement.
    Or how about ...

    ❝ Environmental Abilities ❞ ?
    •  It'll be similar to Utility Abilities , but instead ... they'll be adaptive to it's Environment, User's Archetype and Weapon. And it'll actually damage/ heal/ Tanking ability/ affect atmosphere (in-combat)/ etc...
    • So as long as it affects something within Combat
    ( Not to mention my ❝ Crafting Ability ❞ idea )


    ( It's like a Foundation - the more you have to work with, the more possibilities you have - broadening, branch it )

    I'll stop rambling now xD. But I hope you understand what I mean
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    Regardless, I've thought it for quite some time - so I'll post my ideas anyways

    ('・ω・') 
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    My idea of Balancing classes is allowing  Magic usable to all Classes. I believe Magic is very vast & since ... ❝ Verra ❞ [in-game world official name] is a High-Fantasy World ... It seems reasonable


    forums.ashesofcreation.com/discussion/34511/how-should-abilities-be-presented#latest

    forums.ashesofcreation.com/discussion/21210/crafting-abilities#latest

    These 2 Threads I made summarizes most of it.

    In short, allowing the Classes to Craft Unknown Abilities ( it's an Old Idea )
    And make new abilities that's unique to each Archetype.

    These Crafted Abilities can also be Augmented - which will possess additional options, further uniqueness and similar ( yet different ) utilization

  • Actually I think it's been stated in some Live Streams that they are not looking to balance the classes; that some will be better than others depending on the situation.
  • @T-Elf Yep, they said that they are less concerned about ability balancing for 1v1, but will instead be looking at overpowered combos that break group play. The reason was that there will always be a meta and they are not going to start down the slippery slope of buff class x/nerf class y, rinse and repeat that so many mmos have fallen down. The idea is to make fights last for a significant period of time. Those that think they are going to stunlock/backstab/stunlock/backstab/dead are going to be severely disappointed when instead of a gank macro they have to actually play to win.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    @T-Elf & @UnknownSystemError

    If what both of you say is true, then it feels like a " double-sided sword " ; almost a contradiction. But it's good start because ... well, i guess its

    { Trial-&-Error + Player FeedBack = Result }

    But still potentially leading to a Problem:
    • If " Fighter vs Ranger " will always result in Ranger winning ... specifically because Close-range has to get close ... then that'll automatically lead to an uproar. Sure, it realistically make sense, but its also realistic to still give the Fighter a Chance - a realistic chance ( of some sort )
    ( in other Words, Ranger Kites-&-Attack, while Fighter struggles to keep up ... including some snares  )

    And lets face it ... Kiting is going to happen sooner or later. More commonly seen in tab-targeting combat-styles, but " upheld/ persisted " fairly-well in some Action-Combat-Styles MMOs too.

    @UnknownSystemError
    but i suppose ... " Working Backwards  " might allow more freedom in identifying better 1v1 Match-ups later on ? But do like the initial incentivizing of Group Play 1st, then leading to the 1v1 aspect. but still " iffy "

    All-in-all, i'm hoping that the each Archetype has a fair-chance with every other Archetype if pitted-against one another

    Btw. to clarify ...
    ". The reason was that there will always be a meta ... "
    This feels like a Contradiction too - i feel very uneasy about that statement .. in more ways than one  :'(
    Because then " this " leads me to believe that there will undoubtly be a Meta & eventually Raids/ Dungeons are only going to want a " specific Build " and/or  a " specific Class/ Archetype " 

    And defeats the Purpose of having so many options to choose if it'll be dwindle to 8 ... i bet even some will prefer a Specific-Race .. being similar to

    Pokemon's " Nature, EV & IVs "
     ( which isn't " that " bad )

    EDIT: But I'm certain that something else can be considered 
  • I guess I wasn't clear enough. If there is a game breaking ability or bug of course they are going to fix it. If the Ranger somehow gets a poison dot that cannot be cleansed that leads to them winning every fight then I imagine they will fix it. I believe the intent of the statement was to calm those who look at every class that is winning as a nerf incoming. @lexmax is the master of having the livestreams linked for specific questions and answers, so maybe he can provide a link to that specific response. The "there will always be a meta" statement was theirs, not mine. Sorry if you took the implication to mean that they would never balance 1v1, they expressed that it isn't going to be a priority.
  • Min/Maxers will always end up creating a meta, even if it takes a long time. There is literally nothing to be done about it.
  • Eragale said:
    @T-Elf & @UnknownSystemError

    If what both of you say is true, then it feels like a " double-sided sword " ; almost a contradiction. But it's good start because ... well, i guess its

    { Trial-&-Error + Player FeedBack = Result }

    But still potentially leading to a Problem:
    • If " Fighter vs Ranger " will always result in Ranger winning ... specifically because Close-range has to get close ... then that'll automatically lead to an uproar. Sure, it realistically make sense, but its also realistic to still give the Fighter a Chance - a realistic chance ( of some sort )
    ( in other Words, Ranger Kites-&-Attack, while Fighter struggles to keep up ... including some snares  )

    And lets face it ... Kiting is going to happen sooner or later. More commonly seen in tab-targeting combat-styles, but " upheld/ persisted " fairly-well in some Action-Combat-Styles MMOs too.

    @UnknownSystemError
    but i suppose ... " Working Backwards  " might allow more freedom in identifying better 1v1 Match-ups later on ? But do like the initial incentivizing of Group Play 1st, then leading to the 1v1 aspect. but still " iffy "

    All-in-all, i'm hoping that the each Archetype has a fair-chance with every other Archetype if pitted-against one another

    Btw. to clarify ...
    ". The reason was that there will always be a meta ... "
    This feels like a Contradiction too - i feel very uneasy about that statement .. in more ways than one  :'(
    Because then " this " leads me to believe that there will undoubtly be a Meta & eventually Raids/ Dungeons are only going to want a " specific Build " and/or  a " specific Class/ Archetype " 

    And defeats the Purpose of having so many options to choose if it'll be dwindle to 8 ... i bet even some will prefer a Specific-Race .. being similar to

    Pokemon's " Nature, EV & IVs "
     ( which isn't " that " bad )

    EDIT: But I'm certain that something else can be considered 
    Well as far as the "Pokemon's Nature, EV & IVs" comparison I would say that this is bound to happen in any game of such a nature. One thing i think other games have failed to do is provide valuable strengths and weaknesses to all classes. 

    I feel like-- player skill aside -- each augment within each of the eight main classes should each give up something in order to be good at another area that the other augments don't have.

    There will always be "better" classes, but rather than worry about those i would prefer if each of the various upgrades all bring something meaningful, that way even if you are not what the "meta" is CURRENTLY favoring you still bring something unique to the table that is not easily overlooked.  
     
    Ranged vs Melee seems to be an issue in most games as well.. either the ranged champions kite the melee for days or the melee champions run down and cc the ranged to death-- that is an issue I have little to no idea how to fix though :p 

    Even from playing pvp at PAX I was not quite sure how the ranged champions fared vs the melee ones because for the most part nobody knew what they were doing XD .... though i will say that the =hit space-bar inside the red zone= mechanic was a lot easier to use on the ranged classes than while trying to chase down someone in melee. 

  • I just want to apologize first for starting a new thread on Classes. I did try a search and got nothing. I just want to discuss what different classes there will be and the different combinations we might get from those as well as the different talents each might get.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    The search function is broken. But here are 3 I found in 5 minutes of looking.
    Also I realize that you are under an hour old here on the forums. The new discussion category is a bit buggy, you have to make sure you have clicked the right dropdown to category place. Right now your topic is in Guild Recruitment. One of our great mods like @Shunex will most likely move it for you.
    https://forums.ashesofcreation.com/discussion/35797/classes-balacing-64-classes-and-classes-preview#latest
    https://forums.ashesofcreation.com/discussion/34421/what-class-combination-intrigues-you-the-most#latest
    https://forums.ashesofcreation.com/discussion/34851/skill-tree-class-ideas#latest
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    Zastro said:
    Min/Maxers will always end up creating a meta, even if it takes a long time. There is literally nothing to be done about it.

    I completely disagree. IMHO its simply because;
    a. the devs never had the competence, will or insight to achieve proper balance.
    b. the content was predictable to enable best builds to be established.

    How do you say, a healer is better than a tank, is better than a damage dealer, unless the content is biased to suit them better ?
    ESO for instance was deliberately balanced to favour DD builds to reduce the TTK. Guess what happened to all the healers and tanks ?
    Lets say the group finder queues for DD were very very very very large ;)

    What you should be doing is ensuring the health regen, health degen and mitigation is always balanced to give identical  'RELATIVE' TTK for all builds. That makes all 'direct' combat situations stalemate...and thus balanced. Tank vs tank may be slow. DD vs DD may be quick. But Tank vs DD must also stalemate with matching TTK.
    The tanks extra mitigation countered by the DD extra damage.
    The tanks minor damage countered by the DD minor mitigation.

    Tipping the scales in any builds favour is where the situational/environmental skills come in.
    Anchor, Push, Pull, Gapclose, Gapmake, speed, root, stun and release.
    Attacking someones efficiency with CC to the point of friendly fire and having that reversable too.
    These kind of abilities need to be shared/balanced out among the classes to suit preferred playstyles.
    Using line of sight, high ground, ground stability to influence results.
    And people need to think about where they are and what they are doing to capitalise on these skills when deploying 'ultimates'....the game changers.

    This is tactical combat. It doesnt matter how big your stick is..it matter how and when you use it. You use it when your opponent is weakened through counterplay or forced into mistake. Pulling them into fire or pushing them over a cliff for instance.

    Ultimately i have also come to realise...you need to also take a massive risk, if you want a massive reward.
  • Keldiran said:
    I just want to apologize first for starting a new thread on Classes. I did try a search and got nothing. I just want to discuss what different classes there will be and the different combinations we might get from those as well as the different talents each might get.


    I have merged your post here to continue discussion.

    Thanks <3

  • Perfect Balancing will never exist.
    There will always be meta builds or teamsetups.
    all they have to do is buffing and nerfing stuff on a regular shedule. ( and pls not like every 6 month like other games)
  • This discussion, very much like most discussions at this moment, is a whole bunch of guess work riddled with opinions. Like a ton of other people supporting Ashes and it's community, I have drank the koolaid that is the Ashes hype train. I am putting my faith into Intrepid. It has been repeatedly stated that "end game" is a bad word in their philosophical opinions. I'm interrupting, which I believe Jeffery has made mention of, this philosophy to mean they will be making great efforts to mitigate or out right eliminate "meta" builds. I look forward to see how they deal with this starting in Alpha 1 and beyond. I truly hope they can pull it off for the sake of long term gameplay. 


  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    On another note, my idea for the 64 Combinations.

    I've kinda delve in to this a little bit in this Thread ( https://forums.ashesofcreation.com/discussion/34067/tanks-the-backbone-of-a-successful-group/p1  ...  )  ... but to be more specific

    " Consistency " ( for Tank/ Tank )
    •  - more emphasis on Enduring Blows, Deflecting/ Parry/ Blocking yet ... At the same time, not as much versatility
     " Versatility " ( For Tank/ Tank )
    • meaning not being very optimal/ situational ; such as fewer Movement Abilities, fewer Long-Range abilities, less damage-output ... being ... " too sturdy " . 

    And every ability of " Archetype-Combinations " should reflect those traits of ... ( image below )

    And vice-versa Depending on the Primary-Archetype Role ( DPS/ Heals/ Tank Role ). It should also balance all Archetype Combinations. But its just opinion

     I was going to post my view on all 64 Combinations ... but it'll make this post too long just too long  :D  . It deserves its own Thread to tbh
    • Tank/ Tank
    • Tank/ Fighter
    • Tank/ Rogue
    • Tank/ Ranger
    • Tank/ Mage
    • Tank/ Cleric
    • Tank/ Bard
    then
    • Fighter/ Tank
    • Fighter/Fighter
    • Fighter/ Rogue
    • etc ...
  • I think this will be a discussion and debate right up until the launch of the live version - and possibly a little after.

    Steven himself said that parties will be balanced around the 8 "core" classes, so I imagine the secondary-class and augment systems will have many things that bring value to groups.  Each main class has a role, and you wouldn't necessarily lose any of your main class's value with your secondary class.

    If you think more pvp oriented, I'm hoping every class has a niche, just like in the PVE environment, and I'm sure it will be.  By every main class have a specific role, this will automatically mean that certain class combinations in groups will be weak against some, and strong against others.

    This 'is', and should be, the nature of picking a class in the first place.

    We haven't even seen the Bard class yet.  If he/she just ends up being comedic relief, I'd still bring them to my party for some background music.  Imagine if the game's musical score wasn't present, unless you had a bard around?
    On a different side, if they simply just buff everybody's abilities - you would also feel like you couldn't go anywhere without one, or you risk being overpowered by any group with one.

    Have you every played D&D at low levels (levels 1-5)?  That's almost where a majority of the fun and story comes from.  Why would you bring a level 1 Wizard at all if he could be killed by a house cat sneezing? He can cast sleep and learn the Fireball and other crazy spells later.  Or why bring the weak rogue?  He's the only one who could pick a lock, perhaps, or sneak "just enough" to get past the sleeping guard.  Many classes are practically useless by themselves at lower levels, which is why you essentially "can't" adventure alone... which is exactly why you play with others!  That's where all of the fun is!
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited September 2017
    @Caelron

    Intrepid did mention that Players will have the Option of being a " Jacks-of-all-Trades ". I do expect ( and hope ) that idea is still being implemented. And hopefully being viable too

    Caelron said:
    " ...  Imagine if the game's musical score wasn't present, unless you had a bard around?
    On a different side, if they simply just buff everybody's abilities - you would also feel like you couldn't go anywhere without one, or you risk being overpowered by any group with one ... "
    Like this idea  :)

    Caelron said:
    " ... Have you every played D&D at low levels (levels 1-5)?  That's almost where a majority of the fun and story comes from.  Why would you bring a level 1 Wizard at all if he could be killed by a house cat sneezing? He can cast sleep and learn the Fireball and other crazy spells later.  Or why bring the weak rogue?  He's the only one who could pick a lock, perhaps, or sneak "just enough" to get past the sleeping guard.  Many classes are practically useless by themselves at lower levels, which is why you essentially "can't" adventure alone... which is exactly why you play with others!  That's where all of the fun is! "
    I was worried that some Players had forgotten about the,  " Sleep " Spell - including other abilities that interact with the World

    ( @Intrepid above please  :)  )

     If we had more Shenanigans-Spells  like those that could be used freely ... then it'll insanely-fun , but might need a nerf  :D

    Like the enthusiasm xD 
  • Zastro said:
    Min/Maxers will always end up creating a meta, even if it takes a long time. There is literally nothing to be done about it.

    I completely disagree. IMHO its simply because;
    a. the devs never had the competence, will or insight to achieve proper balance.
    b. the content was predictable to enable best builds to be established.

    How do you say, a healer is better than a tank, is better than a damage dealer, unless the content is biased to suit them better ?
    ESO for instance was deliberately balanced to favour DD builds to reduce the TTK. Guess what happened to all the healers and tanks ?
    Lets say the group finder queues for DD were very very very very large ;)

    What you should be doing is ensuring the health regen, health degen and mitigation is always balanced to give identical  'RELATIVE' TTK for all builds. That makes all 'direct' combat situations stalemate...and thus balanced. Tank vs tank may be slow. DD vs DD may be quick. But Tank vs DD must also stalemate with matching TTK.
    The tanks extra mitigation countered by the DD extra damage.
    The tanks minor damage countered by the DD minor mitigation.

    Tipping the scales in any builds favour is where the situational/environmental skills come in.
    Anchor, Push, Pull, Gapclose, Gapmake, speed, root, stun and release.
    Attacking someones efficiency with CC to the point of friendly fire and having that reversable too.
    These kind of abilities need to be shared/balanced out among the classes to suit preferred playstyles.
    Using line of sight, high ground, ground stability to influence results.
    And people need to think about where they are and what they are doing to capitalise on these skills when deploying 'ultimates'....the game changers.

    This is tactical combat. It doesnt matter how big your stick is..it matter how and when you use it. You use it when your opponent is weakened through counterplay or forced into mistake. Pulling them into fire or pushing them over a cliff for instance.

    Ultimately i have also come to realise...you need to also take a massive risk, if you want a massive reward.
    Balancing damage and damage mitigation are totally fine, but being able to balance every skill for every class and every augment that comes with every skill and the potential combos for all of the skills and augments is nigh impossible. 
    Also, there will be some tanks who aren't as tanky as other tanks, so if they get into a fight with a DD who does more damage than they can mitigate, they are not going to come to a stalemate unless the tank is just more skillful. It just isn't possible to balance everyone for every situation against every build against every level of player and for every disparity in stats. In a given fight, some one will always be at a disadvantage. I don't think this is a problem though.  Strategy,  skill, and tactical combat, as you say, are what make up for these inherent disadvantages.
  • Zastro said:
    Zastro said:
    Min/Maxers will always end up creating a meta, even if it takes a long time. There is literally nothing to be done about it.

    I completely disagree. IMHO its simply because;
    a. the devs never had the competence, will or insight to achieve proper balance.
    b. the content was predictable to enable best builds to be established.

    How do you say, a healer is better than a tank, is better than a damage dealer, unless the content is biased to suit them better ?
    ESO for instance was deliberately balanced to favour DD builds to reduce the TTK. Guess what happened to all the healers and tanks ?
    Lets say the group finder queues for DD were very very very very large ;)

    What you should be doing is ensuring the health regen, health degen and mitigation is always balanced to give identical  'RELATIVE' TTK for all builds. That makes all 'direct' combat situations stalemate...and thus balanced. Tank vs tank may be slow. DD vs DD may be quick. But Tank vs DD must also stalemate with matching TTK.
    The tanks extra mitigation countered by the DD extra damage.
    The tanks minor damage countered by the DD minor mitigation.

    Tipping the scales in any builds favour is where the situational/environmental skills come in.
    Anchor, Push, Pull, Gapclose, Gapmake, speed, root, stun and release.
    Attacking someones efficiency with CC to the point of friendly fire and having that reversable too.
    These kind of abilities need to be shared/balanced out among the classes to suit preferred playstyles.
    Using line of sight, high ground, ground stability to influence results.
    And people need to think about where they are and what they are doing to capitalise on these skills when deploying 'ultimates'....the game changers.

    This is tactical combat. It doesnt matter how big your stick is..it matter how and when you use it. You use it when your opponent is weakened through counterplay or forced into mistake. Pulling them into fire or pushing them over a cliff for instance.

    Ultimately i have also come to realise...you need to also take a massive risk, if you want a massive reward.
    Balancing damage and damage mitigation are totally fine, but being able to balance every skill for every class and every augment that comes with every skill and the potential combos for all of the skills and augments is nigh impossible. 
    Also, there will be some tanks who aren't as tanky as other tanks, so if they get into a fight with a DD who does more damage than they can mitigate, they are not going to come to a stalemate unless the tank is just more skillful. It just isn't possible to balance everyone for every situation against every build against every level of player and for every disparity in stats. In a given fight, some one will always be at a disadvantage. I don't think this is a problem though.  Strategy,  skill, and tactical combat, as you say, are what make up for these inherent disadvantages.
    I get what you are saying I think. Weapon based direct combat skills should be balance-able, but indirect class skills not so easy. Fair point.

    The secondary and augments though I am not so sure. These are not supposed to change the amplitude or power as such. More be a different flavour (style) of the same thing.
    A tank/mage tank/cleric tank/fighter should all essentially still be a tank of very similar if not identical ability. A mage/tank cleric/tank and fighter/tank would in contrast be completely different things that should still balance as a mage a cleric and a fighter. Even if the secondary tanking abilities modify the primary skill rather than suddenly make them 'an off-tank'. I think calling such an off-tank or envisioning it as such may well be stretching its functionality. But we dont know without real examples. And Intrepids words are often conflicting in this regard. In one sentence its just a style in the next breath a tank/tank will be better at tanking than a tank/fighter ?!?!?!? If its just a visual style without actually altering functionality to any degree...why invest points ? In contrast, how is it just an augment if it makes a considerable difference to functionality? Your guess, is thus, as good as mine.
    :tongue:
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