Class balancing in raids

wanderingmistwanderingmist Member, Founder
edited April 19 in General Discussion
This came up in another thread, courtesy of @mcjenkins. Here is what was written so far:
mcjenkins wrote: »
mcjenkins wrote: »
Quests:
Raids:

When it comes to raids, i feel its most important to make sure each boss compliments a certain classes abilities, just to make the player feel more important as well as not making them feel like they're playing an under-powered class, especially if they spent so much time creating that single character.

That kind of thing usually results in class-stacking, which as someone who has done progression raiding in both GW2 and WoW, is NOT a good thing. But then again, that's one of the biggest challenges for developers when it comes to class balancing and raid design. Make the classes too similar and players complain that all the classes are the same. Make the classes too unique and you get class-stacking on difficult encounters and players complaining that they can never get into groups because of the class they play.

in regards to class stacking like that, there should be a sort of lockout mechanic, kinda like you can only enter that raid with the same players from when you started it that week, with a few swaps. This way they wont want to class stack for just ONE boss in the raid. Also i don't thinks "pugs" should exist when it comes to raiding anyways, further making this a possible solution.

EDIT: To answer this argument, I would like to point out that a lot of guilds and raid teams have a variable roster. Let's say your guild raids on a Monday, Tuesday and Friday evening, but one of your raiders can only raid on a Tuesday and Friday. Depending on which day the raids reset, under your proposed system they might not be able to raid any of those days without gimping their raid team. Not only that but real life happens, and gets in the way of raiding. I've had times where I've been down to raid one night and then got called to work extra hours so I had to miss the raid. If this were to happen my guild would either have to cancel the raid completely or try to progress with 1 less person.

Comments

  • I suggested this originally because i understand that class-stacking is a major issue when it comes to unique classes within an MMO but also having similar classes among each other ruins the role play of an MMO. A good example of abusing class stacking would be WoW Cataclysm with Deathwing. The top guilds would just stack tons of shamans when they reached Deathwing because the heroism effect was too strong. But with this lockout it makes it difficult and risky to swap out any of the players you started with during the raid because stacking one class might work for one boss, but the rest of the bosses will prove to be difficult if not impossible.
  • mcjenkins wrote: »
    Quests:

    When it comes to raids, i feel its most important to make sure each boss compliments a certain classes abilities, just to make the player feel more important as well as not making them feel like they're playing an under-powered class, especially if they spent so much time creating that single character.

    btw this is what i'm referring to ^
  • wanderingmistwanderingmist Member, Founder
    mcjenkins wrote: »
    I suggested this originally because i understand that class-stacking is a major issue when it comes to unique classes within an MMO but also having similar classes among each other ruins the role play of an MMO. A good example of abusing class stacking would be WoW Cataclysm with Deathwing. The top guilds would just stack tons of shamans when they reached Deathwing because the heroism effect was too strong. But with this lockout it makes it difficult and risky to swap out any of the players you started with during the raid because stacking one class might work for one boss, but the rest of the bosses will prove to be difficult if not impossible.

    See the edit to my OP.
  • This came up in another thread, courtesy of @mcjenkins. Here is what was written so far:


    EDIT: To answer this argument, I would like to point out that a lot of guilds and raid teams have a variable roster. Let's say your guild raids on a Monday, Tuesday and Friday evening, but one of your raiders can only raid on a Tuesday and Friday. Depending on which day the raids reset, under your proposed system they might not be able to raid any of those days without gimping their raid team. Not only that but real life happens, and gets in the way of raiding. I've had times where I've been down to raid one night and then got called to work extra hours so I had to miss the raid. If this were to happen my guild would either have to cancel the raid completely or try to progress with 1 less person.

    Of course these things happen all the time, what i had in mind with more detail, was a lockout mechanic that, say allows up to a total of 5 or 10 swaps, depending on the raid sizes, and anymore swaps required would come with a price, either with ingame currency or crafting reagents, basically something that you don't want to give up unless required to. With this would also make it so that guilds are always looking for diverse builds into the raids to avoid paying the swap fee.
  • mcjenkins wrote: »
    I suggested this originally because i understand that class-stacking is a major issue when it comes to unique classes within an MMO but also having similar classes among each other ruins the role play of an MMO. A good example of abusing class stacking would be WoW Cataclysm with Deathwing. The top guilds would just stack tons of shamans when they reached Deathwing because the heroism effect was too strong. But with this lockout it makes it difficult and risky to swap out any of the players you started with during the raid because stacking one class might work for one boss, but the rest of the bosses will prove to be difficult if not impossible.

    See the edit to my OP.

    lol sry just started using forums today
  • wanderingmistwanderingmist Member, Founder
    mcjenkins wrote: »
    This came up in another thread, courtesy of @mcjenkins. Here is what was written so far:


    EDIT: To answer this argument, I would like to point out that a lot of guilds and raid teams have a variable roster. Let's say your guild raids on a Monday, Tuesday and Friday evening, but one of your raiders can only raid on a Tuesday and Friday. Depending on which day the raids reset, under your proposed system they might not be able to raid any of those days without gimping their raid team. Not only that but real life happens, and gets in the way of raiding. I've had times where I've been down to raid one night and then got called to work extra hours so I had to miss the raid. If this were to happen my guild would either have to cancel the raid completely or try to progress with 1 less person.

    Of course these things happen all the time, what i had in mind with more detail, was a lockout mechanic that, say allows up to a total of 5 or 10 swaps, depending on the raid sizes, and anymore swaps required would come with a price, either with ingame currency or crafting reagents, basically something that you don't want to give up unless required to. With this would also make it so that guilds are always looking for diverse builds into the raids to avoid paying the swap fee.

    It would have to be a pretty substantial tax to make it worthwhile, since progression raiding guilds are often-times the richest guilds on a given server.
  • sithiksithik Member, Leader of Men
    For hardcore progression raiding play the meta or get the fuck out. Ez
  • dygzdygz Member, Braver of Worlds
    In Ashes, raids aren't static, so...
    Who can raid on what day really shouldn't matter - the bosses will be different and the mechanics will be different anyway.
    Which is why there should be a variety of ways to defeat the bosses, rather than requiring one specific tactic or strategy or one set of abilities.

    Also, we may have to open raids up to other players besides just those in our out-of-game guild.
    Just because people with the abilities you want aren't available to raid, doesn't mean those spots can't be filled with other citizens or other allies.

    PUGS for raids will exist because most raids will be open world rather than instanced.
  • dygz wrote: »
    In Ashes, raids aren't static, so...

    Which is why there should be a variety of ways to defeat the bosses, rather than requiring one specific tactic or strategy or one set of abilities.

    I completely disagree with this, if bosses had this type of game-play we will be suffering from class stacking like nearly every other MMO. Think about it, if you are a Hunter (underpowered) and a Mage (overpowered) is trying to join the same raid as you, if they don't require the abilities you offer due to the boss being just a dps check (this is the result of there becoming too many ways to defeat a boss), they will pick the Mage 9/10 times because the dps it provides outweighs any utility your Hunter would provide.

    The only solution for something like this would be to either wait until they buff Hunters, or you make a new character that is a Mage instead.

    Now if the boss had complimented some Hunter abilities to defeat him you would get a spot within the raid even if you aren't the strongest class. This also ensures that the under-powered classes have a home in every raid group making players not regret choosing the character they've created.

    For world bosses this would be impossible anyways, but for instanced bosses i feel this would be the healthiest choice for the gaming community.
  • mcjenkins wrote: »
    I suggested this originally because i understand that class-stacking is a major issue when it comes to unique classes within an MMO but also having similar classes among each other ruins the role play of an MMO

    Major issue? Are you just saying or where you base this argument? I have not acknowledge this to be a major issue so I am kind of courious. ;)
    Do you need a ride to the Underworld?
  • mcjenkinsmcjenkins Member
    edited April 20
    ferryman wrote: »
    mcjenkins wrote: »
    I suggested this originally because i understand that class-stacking is a major issue when it comes to unique classes within an MMO but also having similar classes among each other ruins the role play of an MMO

    Major issue? Are you just saying or where you base this argument? I have not acknowledge this to be a major issue so I am kind of courious. ;)

    It's how WoW went from having unique classes to a more homogenized pool of classes, was because of class-stacking in raids. I mentioned this issue with an example in the earlier threads but basically the final boss of the expansion Cataclysm resulted in guilds replacing over a quarter of their raids with one class, Shamans, due to an ability called heroism, it made the fight become trivial. This is simply bad for the game because it meant that if you didn't have a shaman at max level with proper gear you were kicked out of the raid and only the closest friends of the raid leader would be able to play their desired class.

    Also i'm sure Wanderingmist could provide another example from GW2, as he mentions the same issue happening in that game as well in the first post.
  • wanderingmistwanderingmist Member, Founder
    edited April 20
    mcjenkins wrote: »
    ferryman wrote: »
    mcjenkins wrote: »
    I suggested this originally because i understand that class-stacking is a major issue when it comes to unique classes within an MMO but also having similar classes among each other ruins the role play of an MMO

    Major issue? Are you just saying or where you base this argument? I have not acknowledge this to be a major issue so I am kind of courious. ;)

    It's how WoW went from having unique classes to a more homogenized pool of classes, was because of class-stacking in raids. I mentioned this issue with an example in the earlier threads but basically the final boss of the expansion Cataclysm resulted in guilds replacing over a quarter of their raids with one class, Shamans, due to an ability called heroism, it made the fight become trivial. This is simply bad for the game because it meant that if you didn't have a shaman at max level with proper gear you were kicked out of the raid and only the closest friends of the raid leader would be able to play their desired class.

    Also i'm sure Wanderingmist could provide another example from another game, GW2, as he mentions the same issue happening in that game as well, in the first post.

    I think it's important to differentiate between the top 100 raiding guilds and the majority of the player base, especially when it comes to class stacking in WoW. Remember that when the top guilds are racing for world first kills they are going into boss fights undergeared, which means they have to use the absolute best set ups possible in order to kill the boss. To do this they have their raiders prepare as many as 5 different classes each so that they can field whatever classes they need for each boss.

    This doesn't apply to the majority of the player base who generally overgear a boss before they reach it, so class stacking isn't nearly as required. Class stacking has become a lot rarer for most guilds in recent expansions.

    As for GW2, raiding there is..... Weird. For anyone who hasn't played it there are a number of raid buffs that are activated by certain class abilities. When putting together a raid team you want a composition that gives you 100% uptime on all the raid buffs, even if that means taking classes that deal less damage or healing.

    Just as an example, 2 of the healing specs you can take are the druid and the tempest. The tempest is by far the stronger healer in terms of raw output, but the druid can provide more of the raid buffs, so raids will always take a druid healer over a tempest.

    This means that the GW2 raiding meta stays pretty much the same regardless of boss mechanics or class balancing.

    EDIT: GW2 does have a cautionary tale when it comes to giving unique abilities to classes though. One of the specs in the game is the chronomancer, which had an ability that allowed all raid members in their area to become immune to all damage and status effects for a couple of seconds. Any experienced raiders can probably immediately see the problem here. Such an ability meant that the raid could completely negate any boss mechanic they liked. This had 2 side effects. First it meant you had to bring 2 chronomancers to every raid (raids were 8 people) which limited what else you could bring. On top of this the devs had to design boss fights around this 1 ability, which made the meta even more static.

    Fortunately the ability was removed some time ago.
  • I dont think that the classes should be "balanced". Balancing always leads to uniformity, taking any class personality. If all classes are the same (hunter, mage, priest, warlock, shaman are all the same ranged dd, lets just take mages because they have an extra block ability, or this class has slightly more dmg in burst etc). It would be better to have class flavour, where every class brings something different to the table, then having every class being able to do everything. I think that Steven once sai that it will be kind of like rock-paper-scissors, and i really want that. I want that a rogue will be the 100% death of healers, because THATS WHAT THEY ARE MEANT TO DO! xD I read too many posts, where people cried about rogue stealth and how "unfair" it is that they can go invisible, while they cant do anything against it and have to wait for them to engage.
    4vIAwsd.gif
  • mcjenkins wrote: »
    ferryman wrote: »
    mcjenkins wrote: »
    I suggested this originally because i understand that class-stacking is a major issue when it comes to unique classes within an MMO but also having similar classes among each other ruins the role play of an MMO

    Major issue? Are you just saying or where you base this argument? I have not acknowledge this to be a major issue so I am kind of courious. ;)

    It's how WoW went from having unique classes to a more homogenized pool of classes, was because of class-stacking in raids. I mentioned this issue with an example in the earlier threads but basically the final boss of the expansion Cataclysm resulted in guilds replacing over a quarter of their raids with one class, Shamans, due to an ability called heroism, it made the fight become trivial. This is simply bad for the game because it meant that if you didn't have a shaman at max level with proper gear you were kicked out of the raid and only the closest friends of the raid leader would be able to play their desired class.

    Also i'm sure Wanderingmist could provide another example from GW2, as he mentions the same issue happening in that game as well in the first post.

    Yeah I saw your post, but this one fight does not make it major issue. And I played myself In Cataclysm, we did not stack any shamans at final boss and we did not even know about this kind of stacking. I understand this can happen in some situations when top guilds are min-maxing, but I am not sure if this is a major issue.

    Ashes makes every archtype needed with special class ability, but of course group can take only one each (8) and after that only the best ones. Lets hope they manage to balance classes well.

    However, I guess Ashes won't have this same competition between guilds (what it comes for raiding) like so many other mmorpg has. Simply because all servers (worlds) have different content available and at different time, and some content you never even see. On top of that content can be very regional where guilds focuses mostly for content related to their node and its progression. Moreover, I do not see raids only as end-game content, those can come and go when environment changes and nodes' progresses. Also castle/node/city sieges has more value than raids I presume.
    Do you need a ride to the Underworld?
  • mcjenkinsmcjenkins Member
    edited April 20
    ferryman wrote: »
    mcjenkins wrote: »
    ferryman wrote: »
    mcjenkins wrote: »

    Yeah I saw your post, but this one fight does not make it major issue. And I played myself In Cataclysm, we did not stack any shamans at final boss and we did not even know about this kind of stacking. I understand this can happen in some situations when top guilds are min-maxing, but I am not sure if this is a major issue.

    Ashes makes every archtype needed with special class ability, but of course group can take only one each (8) and after that only the best ones. Lets hope they manage to balance classes well.

    However, I guess Ashes won't have this same competition between guilds (what it comes for raiding) like so many other mmorpg has. Simply because all servers (worlds) have different content available and at different time, and some content you never even see. On top of that content can be very regional where guilds focuses mostly for content related to their node and its progression. Moreover, I do not see raids only as end-game content, those can come and go when environment changes and nodes' progresses. Also castle/node/city sieges has more value than raids I presume.

    True that my statement is very specific, but the philosophy still remains, even in Cata if you weren't one of the top dps specs or didn't have good gear u weren't invited to the raid as often (they would still invite more mages cause they had good dps no matter the situation -- class stacking), by them creating scenarios where certain classes are required for their abilities, they wont have a choice but to invite you even if your class is under-powered, unless they want to risk more wipes.

    When it comes to balancing, we need to be realistic, what does it mean for when an MMO game is truly balanced? What type of game-play do you see happening when every character is balanced.

    For me personally I'd rather focus on the boss fights, items, or specific mobs to balance a single class, this way each class can be and feel strong within those environments, whereas if the classes that are really similar to one another with universal types of abilities, defeats the purpose of even having different classes to begin with and makes for a dull experience of game-play.
  • mcjenkinsmcjenkins Member
    edited April 20
    damokles wrote: »
    I dont think that the classes should be "balanced". Balancing always leads to uniformity, taking any class personality. If all classes are the same (hunter, mage, priest, warlock, shaman are all the same ranged dd, lets just take mages because they have an extra block ability, or this class has slightly more dmg in burst etc). It would be better to have class flavour, where every class brings something different to the table, then having every class being able to do everything. I think that Steven once sai that it will be kind of like rock-paper-scissors, and i really want that. I want that a rogue will be the 100% death of healers, because THATS WHAT THEY ARE MEANT TO DO! xD I read too many posts, where people cried about rogue stealth and how "unfair" it is that they can go invisible, while they cant do anything against it and have to wait for them to engage.

    Yes absolutely, imo that is what makes an MMO more endearing, is when you can be a unique player among thousands of others. When it comes to balancing something like this, Which will be inevitable, i feel the answer lies mostly in the items or type of terrain the player can use against their foes, its important to make sure that a class isn't weak or strong in every single situation, otherwise you will get a community that will begin to question why they chose their character.
  • I just hope all 8 archtypes will be useful, because you can change your sub class to something else which works better in some specific situation. So basically you have 8 specs. But my point was in earlier post, that because there is not standard competition related to the raids, there is no need to go such min-maxing like in WoW. And if few top guilds goes for selective raid combinations, so what? Most people would not notice nor even care. This sounds kind of minor issue imho.
    Do you need a ride to the Underworld?
  • mcjenkinsmcjenkins Member
    edited April 20
    ferryman wrote: »
    I just hope all 8 archtypes will be useful, because you can change your sub class to something else which works better in some specific situation. So basically you have 8 specs. But my point was in earlier post, that because there is not standard competition related to the raids, there is no need to go such min-maxing like in WoW. And if few top guilds goes for selective raid combinations, so what? Most people would not notice nor even care. This sounds kind of minor issue imho.

    Let's just say I don't know a single MMO that exists where every class is a playable option for a raid. Also the issue i mentioned above is specifically a problem among the low level raiding community not the high ranking guilds.

    This isn't min-maxing either it's just why pick up a weak class when you can get an overpowered one instead?
  • Ultimate balancing is of course impossible and only what devs can do is rebalance classes within time and find good enough balance. What more you can even expect to have? Now you just presume there will be a weaker class versus overpowered scenario ahead. Of course some classes will be better than others in raids, but then other can work better in smaller groups or in different PvP situations. Raiding is not the end-game content where players needs to focus all their powers. Raiding is just one part of the end-game content if there is such a thing at first place. Then we have alts what people can use in different situations if they want to. I do not think it is intended to have one character which is best in every situation. So still I think your concern is really a minor. If your guild kills a raid boss with a very selective group, who actually even cares?
    Do you need a ride to the Underworld?
  • mcjenkins wrote: »
    ferryman wrote: »
    I just hope all 8 archtypes will be useful, because you can change your sub class to something else which works better in some specific situation. So basically you have 8 specs. But my point was in earlier post, that because there is not standard competition related to the raids, there is no need to go such min-maxing like in WoW. And if few top guilds goes for selective raid combinations, so what? Most people would not notice nor even care. This sounds kind of minor issue imho.

    why pick up a weak class when you can get an overpowered one instead?

    In Ashes you do not know beforehand all those raids you will be face. It depends how nodes progress in your server. So when raid pops up you just need to go with what you got.
    Do you need a ride to the Underworld?
  • I hope most things can be balanced, seeing as their seems to be... a LOT of different class options I hope it doesn't become a case where...

    HALF or more of the classes are just useless when it comes to anything high end, compared to the others. Or even if it's just a few, that's enough to upset people. I'm sure it'll be balanced though, (Hopefully) at least with the playtests in the future they will be able to sort stuff like that out.

    Seeing what's OP and what's wayyyy underpowered.
    Poko.png
  • wanderingmistwanderingmist Member, Founder
    I hope most things can be balanced, seeing as their seems to be... a LOT of different class options I hope it doesn't become a case where...

    HALF or more of the classes are just useless when it comes to anything high end, compared to the others. Or even if it's just a few, that's enough to upset people. I'm sure it'll be balanced though, (Hopefully) at least with the playtests in the future they will be able to sort stuff like that out.

    Seeing what's OP and what's wayyyy underpowered.

    The more options you give for class customisation the harder it is to balance, which is why PvP in ESO is such a mess right now.
  • seaberseaber Member
    I hope most things can be balanced, seeing as their seems to be... a LOT of different class options I hope it doesn't become a case where...

    HALF or more of the classes are just useless when it comes to anything high end, compared to the others. Or even if it's just a few, that's enough to upset people. I'm sure it'll be balanced though, (Hopefully) at least with the playtests in the future they will be able to sort stuff like that out.

    Seeing what's OP and what's wayyyy underpowered.

    The more options you give for class customisation the harder it is to balance, which is why PvP in ESO is such a mess right now.

    ESO is probably a mess because the devs consistently make moronic decisions.
  • wanderingmistwanderingmist Member, Founder
    edited April 21
    seaber wrote: »
    I hope most things can be balanced, seeing as their seems to be... a LOT of different class options I hope it doesn't become a case where...

    HALF or more of the classes are just useless when it comes to anything high end, compared to the others. Or even if it's just a few, that's enough to upset people. I'm sure it'll be balanced though, (Hopefully) at least with the playtests in the future they will be able to sort stuff like that out.

    Seeing what's OP and what's wayyyy underpowered.

    The more options you give for class customisation the harder it is to balance, which is why PvP in ESO is such a mess right now.

    ESO is probably a mess because the devs consistently make moronic decisions.

    Probably no more than any other developer. I often see things in mmorpgs that have really made me question the competence of the devs when it comes to gameplay design or balance.
  • seaber wrote: »
    I hope most things can be balanced, seeing as their seems to be... a LOT of different class options I hope it doesn't become a case where...

    HALF or more of the classes are just useless when it comes to anything high end, compared to the others. Or even if it's just a few, that's enough to upset people. I'm sure it'll be balanced though, (Hopefully) at least with the playtests in the future they will be able to sort stuff like that out.

    Seeing what's OP and what's wayyyy underpowered.

    The more options you give for class customisation the harder it is to balance, which is why PvP in ESO is such a mess right now.

    ESO is probably a mess because the devs consistently make moronic decisions.

    I often see things in mmorpgs that have really made me question the competence of the devs when it comes to gameplay design or balance.

    I have sometimes wondered the same. In many situations just small tweaks could be enough, but then overscaled changes causes new balance issues.
    Do you need a ride to the Underworld?
  • wanderingmistwanderingmist Member, Founder
    ferryman wrote: »
    seaber wrote: »
    I hope most things can be balanced, seeing as their seems to be... a LOT of different class options I hope it doesn't become a case where...

    HALF or more of the classes are just useless when it comes to anything high end, compared to the others. Or even if it's just a few, that's enough to upset people. I'm sure it'll be balanced though, (Hopefully) at least with the playtests in the future they will be able to sort stuff like that out.

    Seeing what's OP and what's wayyyy underpowered.

    The more options you give for class customisation the harder it is to balance, which is why PvP in ESO is such a mess right now.

    ESO is probably a mess because the devs consistently make moronic decisions.

    I often see things in mmorpgs that have really made me question the competence of the devs when it comes to gameplay design or balance.

    I have sometimes wondered the same. In many situations just small tweaks could be enough, but then overscaled changes causes new balance issues.

    Developers sometimes have a weird idea of what the players want. For example, WoW players have been crying out for more class complexity, and Blizzard have taken that to mean "we want more power" which is totally different. The recent changes they have put on the WoW test realm have made certain classes ridiculously overpowered, which I don't think anyone wanted.
  • seaberseaber Member
    ESO's devs added aoe caps to try and combat zerging but aoe caps have the opposite effect, they empower zergs.
  • autumnleafautumnleaf Member, Braver of Worlds
    damokles wrote: »
    I dont think that the classes should be "balanced". Balancing always leads to uniformity, taking any class personality. If all classes are the same (hunter, mage, priest, warlock, shaman are all the same ranged dd, lets just take mages because they have an extra block ability, or this class has slightly more dmg in burst etc). It would be better to have class flavour, where every class brings something different to the table, then having every class being able to do everything. I think that Steven once sai that it will be kind of like rock-paper-scissors, and i really want that. I want that a rogue will be the 100% death of healers, because THATS WHAT THEY ARE MEANT TO DO! xD I read too many posts, where people cried about rogue stealth and how "unfair" it is that they can go invisible, while they cant do anything against it and have to wait for them to engage.

    I agree, balancing would eventually lead to all classes being the same with different visuals in a way. They should all have their own place in the game and their uses, some more some less but no class should be out of meta because it deals less damage than another or tanks less etc.
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