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Character Development Balancing

Okay so there are 9 different races, 8 primary classes, 8 secondary classes, 4 endgame augments.

9x8x8x4=2304

So we'll have 2304 different ways to progress in this game. Obviously there will be some imbalances among these combinations at least for the first couple of years after the release of the game. So how exactly would be the developers tackling this issue of character diversity and the exploitation made by the community due to this?

I know that the devs are seriously working on it and I do trust them, but 2304 is a number which no game development company has ever faced when it comes to character development. It's a huge thing and I'm concerned about it. Because balancing all of them is very difficult thing to do, and updating the game before the players exploit them to ruin the game is even more difficult.

I know it's too early (and might be even confidential) to ask these questions, but I'm asking them anyway out of genuine concern.

1. Will there be a special team assigned to constantly check the balance between these combinations?
2. Will your team be receptive and positively responsive to fix the imbalances as soon as possible, if players point them out?
3. Will your team be constantly nerfing/buffing the character's combat skills and utility skills to level the playing field for all the combinations?

I don't expect answers for any of the questions above, if it is confidential. But the community expects some assurance from you that your team will seriously look into it. Take your time, we are patient. We just want the final game to be amazing.

Let's make MMORPG genre great again.

Comments

  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited August 2020
    Oh don't worry, other online multiplayer games have worked with similar (or even greater) numbers of gameplay options in the past - Pokemon, League of Legends, ESO, to name but a few....

    .....none of them have come even close to a semblance of proper balance. It's my opinion that having so many gameplay options is physically impossible to balance around, even if you aim for cyclical balance the way League of Legends and Pokemon do.

    It doesn't matter how many people you put on the balance team, or how many times you rebalance the classes, there will always be a vast difference between the strongest and weakest options.
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  • Slight discrepancies between the Strongs and weaks are tolerable, and we all can agree on that. But if any character(s) are OP to the point where people create alts to exploit that issue, will affect the game negatively.

    Secondly, it's more about how quickly the devs fix a pressing issue than balancing trivial problems.

    In short, working with the community to improve the game is the key, and I think they're good at it.
  • Oh don't worry, other online multiplayer games have worked with similar (or even greater) numbers of gameplay options in the past - Pokemon, League of Legends, ESO, to name but a few....

    I can't say anything about Pokemon or ESO balance since i know nearly nothing about, but I know quite a lot about League of Legends and let me tell you - the balance required for PvE benchmarks is in different universe when compared to PvP balance in league where the goal is to destroy enemy nexus.

    The reason why is that in PvE in an mmo you don't have the same amount of balance for time investment - in league an overpowered champion is easily balanced by delaying his rise to power - this cannot be applied in the same way for an mmo - so the actual balance comes to combat effectiveness - so let me tell you that the balance team for Ashes is going to be quite overburdened
    “Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil.”

    ― Plato
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Tragnar wrote: »
    Oh don't worry, other online multiplayer games have worked with similar (or even greater) numbers of gameplay options in the past - Pokemon, League of Legends, ESO, to name but a few....

    I can't say anything about Pokemon or ESO balance since i know nearly nothing about, but I know quite a lot about League of Legends and let me tell you - the balance required for PvE benchmarks is in different universe when compared to PvP balance in league where the goal is to destroy enemy nexus.

    The reason why is that in PvE in an mmo you don't have the same amount of balance for time investment - in league an overpowered champion is easily balanced by delaying his rise to power - this cannot be applied in the same way for an mmo - so the actual balance comes to combat effectiveness - so let me tell you that the balance team for Ashes is going to be quite overburdened

    You're right that MOBAs have an avenue of balancing that most mmorpgs don't have since, as you said, champions in LoL can be tuned to be weaker or stronger in different parts of the game. However, that still doesn't hide the fact that balancing in LoL is terrible because even when you pick and build to counter certain champions, those champions are so strong that they win anyway.
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  • Okay so there are 9 different races, 8 primary classes, 8 secondary classes, 4 endgame augments.

    9x8x8x4=2304

    So we'll have 2304 different ways to progress in this game.
    You can't just multiply a bunch of numbers together and pretend you're making a coherent point. You're just enumerating the possible states a player could occupy through race, class, and augment for one skill, you are not saying anything meaningful about the game or about the number of balancing decisions necessary for the game.

    You could just as well include all ~30 skills per primary archetype and every one of the 64 augments for each as well as your character's base stats as well as health and mana and armor rating and why not also factor in all the possible augments from race and religion so you could come up with some exponentially ridiculous number, and by your own logic conclude that it would be impossible to balance because even so much as considering every single possibility individually would take Intrepid hundreds of years.

  • apmax wrote: »
    You can't just multiply a bunch of numbers together and pretend you're making a coherent point.

    He can and he did.
    What a man this Jassim Salam is.
    apmax wrote: »
    You could just as well include all ~30 skills per primary archetype and every one of the 64 augments for each as well as your character's base stats as well as health and mana and armor rating and why not also factor in all the possible augments from race and religion so you could come up with some exponentially ridiculous number, and by your own logic conclude that it would be impossible to balance because even so much as considering every single possibility individually would take Intrepid hundreds of years.

    It wouldn't be impossible just so hard that it will never happen which is why no game has perfect balance.
    Since they don't test every possibility.

    Also I fail to see why you posted that, there is like no reason to post something like that.
    I mean you made a post saying that he is pretending to have made a point, he clearly made.
    And your argumentation is that he has simplified it a bit.
    Then you conclude that it is impossible, what is even objectively wrong since even a balancing workload that is close to infinite is finite resulting in a finite time to get the work done.
    I mean they won't actually balance it perfectly we all know it but in theory with a lot of time they could.
    1. Will there be a special team assigned to constantly check the balance between these combinations?

    Yea definitely, it will be called "the playerbase" costs 15 bucks a month to get in though.
  • apmax wrote: »
    Okay so there are 9 different races, 8 primary classes, 8 secondary classes, 4 endgame augments.

    9x8x8x4=2304

    So we'll have 2304 different ways to progress in this game.
    You can't just multiply a bunch of numbers together and pretend you're making a coherent point. You're just enumerating the possible states a player could occupy through race, class, and augment for one skill, you are not saying anything meaningful about the game or about the number of balancing decisions necessary for the game.

    You could just as well include all ~30 skills per primary archetype and every one of the 64 augments for each as well as your character's base stats as well as health and mana and armor rating and why not also factor in all the possible augments from race and religion so you could come up with some exponentially ridiculous number, and by your own logic conclude that it would be impossible to balance because even so much as considering every single possibility individually would take Intrepid hundreds of years.

    I wasn't simply multiplying to get a huge number of combinations.

    You're right that we have n number of factors in any game to consider, and trying to calculate all the possible combinations in any game would give us an intimidating yet purposeless number. But that's not what I did here.

    There are a lot of intricate details when it comes to different mechanisms in Ashes of Creation which I cannot even comprehend, and hope developers are taking care of it.

    I just pointed out the Race-Class possibilities alone that exist in this game which can cause a lot of complications if not properly balanced. Of course, no one can perfectly balance any game and that is why we do have constant patches.

    My point is, if the game doesn't have a strong foundation in this aspect, it's gonna make a huge problem during the release itself, because 80% of the player base create their characters during the release of the game. We don't want a skewed composition of races and classes because of some imbalances during the release, do we?
  • Okay so there are 9 different races, 8 primary classes, 8 secondary classes, 4 endgame augments.

    9x8x8x4=2304

    So we'll have 2304 different ways to progress in this game. Obviously there will be some imbalances among these combinations at least for the first couple of years after the release of the game. So how exactly would be the developers tackling this issue of character diversity and the exploitation made by the community due to this?

    I know that the devs are seriously working on it and I do trust them, but 2304 is a number which no game development company has ever faced when it comes to character development. It's a huge thing and I'm concerned about it. Because balancing all of them is very difficult thing to do, and updating the game before the players exploit them to ruin the game is even more difficult.

    I know it's too early (and might be even confidential) to ask these questions, but I'm asking them anyway out of genuine concern.

    1. Will there be a special team assigned to constantly check the balance between these combinations?
    2. Will your team be receptive and positively responsive to fix the imbalances as soon as possible, if players point them out?
    3. Will your team be constantly nerfing/buffing the character's combat skills and utility skills to level the playing field for all the combinations?

    I don't expect answers for any of the questions above, if it is confidential. But the community expects some assurance from you that your team will seriously look into it. Take your time, we are patient. We just want the final game to be amazing.

    Let's make MMORPG genre great again.

    I think personally we need to first see the actual proposal of how the subclass augments will actually work with each class. So far we have a classes table and a very basic explanation from Steven on how subclass augments might work lending the example of the warrior mixing with a mage might gain a teleport instead of a dash. Until we can see a detailed subclass tree in writing, its very difficult to theory craft any imbalances. IMO anyways. Not to say that I do think that intrepid should actually have a very detailed design of how this will work already.
  • arsnnarsnn Member, Intrepid Pack, Alpha One
    Okay so there are 9 different races, 8 primary classes, 8 secondary classes, 4 endgame augments.

    9x8x8x4=2304

    So we'll have 2304 different ways to progress in this game. Obviously there will be some imbalances among these combinations at least for the first couple of years after the release of the game. So how exactly would be the developers tackling this issue of character diversity and the exploitation made by the community due to this?

    I know that the devs are seriously working on it and I do trust them, but 2304 is a number which no game development company has ever faced when it comes to character development. It's a huge thing and I'm concerned about it. Because balancing all of them is very difficult thing to do, and updating the game before the players exploit them to ruin the game is even more difficult.

    I know it's too early (and might be even confidential) to ask these questions, but I'm asking them anyway out of genuine concern.

    1. Will there be a special team assigned to constantly check the balance between these combinations?
    2. Will your team be receptive and positively responsive to fix the imbalances as soon as possible, if players point them out?
    3. Will your team be constantly nerfing/buffing the character's combat skills and utility skills to level the playing field for all the combinations?

    I don't expect answers for any of the questions above, if it is confidential. But the community expects some assurance from you that your team will seriously look into it. Take your time, we are patient. We just want the final game to be amazing.

    Let's make MMORPG genre great again.

    I also see this being an topic to have a keen eye on.
    Especially when you regard the racial and class augmentation is only scratching the surface of the customization.
    There are several layers on top of that such as the 3 armor types, the amount of different armor components for your char (about 12, im not sure about this), the amount of armor choices per component such as helmets will definitely be above 50 considering there is light, medium heavy armor , armor set boni, weapon choice with their active abilities, racial stats to compensate hitbox differences, different levels of spells which alter their playstyles a lot, the stat customization of crafted armor and weapons through the crafters, the battle pet system and probably more stuff i couldnt think of right now.
    I tried calculating the number but having such an huge chain of combinations and permutations gave me an headache and there are still too many unkowns but it surely exceeds the billions though.
    And also the fact that they will have to balance both PvP and PvE and even action targeting with tab targeting around all that makes it a daunting task.
    There is no game that is trying to give you this amount of customization.
    PvP games such as LoL progressively diminished meaningful choices over the years because they couldnt handle the balancing.
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