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A Different Viewpoint about 'Balanced Classes'

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Being a 2nd ed. AD&D player and fan of old-school crpgs I have to say that Classes weren't balanced, but also that this was not a bad thing.

 

Most Classes were unique in their abilities and were able to act in a seperate ways. Why have balanced Classes in PoE ? The effort to do that may result in a quite similar 11. People who have tried the beta can share their exp & opinions about this.


Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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Classes in PE have worse balance than a party of optimally made AD&D 2E characters at the moment.

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I agree with you OP. Classes not being balanced does not matter as long they got their useful strengths and the game is balanced around fighting whole group.

Also classes being balanced might destroy solo plays that were also a lot of fun in IE games.

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Balance ( in term of viability) make sens in a 1 character game like diablo but in a CRPG like baldur's gate the balance is as a whole from the 6 party member, where each classes have different, distinct abililies, strengh and weakness but each being efficient in their roles. I don't care if they are viable by themselve the moment they bring something special and unique to the group.

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OP, I think you've misunderstood the kind of balance that I think the designers (and a lot of us here on the boards) are referring to when we yammer on about balance. See, to my mind, there are two kinds of balance - competitive, and cooperative.

 

Competitive balance requires that all classes adhere to certain norms, and demands that they all strive to have a similar level of overall power. This is ... not an undesirable goal, but only really an essential one in multiplayer games. TF2, Starcraft, and League of Legend, for instance, all try to have competitive balance. The issue with competitive balance is the one you raise - homogeneity. Variety requires that balance be asymmetric, and asymmetric balance is really ****ing difficult to achieve. Homogeneity is a solution, or at least a stopgap, to this difficulty.

 

Unfortunately, when we talk about balance, people advocating both for and against it often adopt the position that all balance is competitive balance, and therefore assert either that (a) games should not be balanced, or (b) options in games should be mostly homogenous in the interests of balance. There are problems with both of these two positions, especially when it comes to games like PoE, where cooperative balance is of crucial importance.

 

Cooperative balance is about allowing every option (classes, in the case of PoE) to fill a distinctive role, having unique things that they do best. Ideally, those unique things should be no more or less valuable than those of other classes, but that's less important. What's very important is avoiding traps in character creation and customization, such that one option is simply like another, but worse. Balanced design is about creating a variety of distinctive choices, none of which are wrong by virtue of not treading on one another's toes.

 

This is a place where the IE games were really a mixed bag, actually, if you were playing in an optimized way. For example: In BG2, unkitted, Stalker, and Beastmaster rangers in are flat-out worse than Fighter/Thieves (or Fighter/Mage/Thieves, if you really want to insist that ranger spellcasting is significant, which it isn't). There is nothing that any of those rangers can do that an F/T (or F/M/T) can't do better, and many things an F/T (F/M/T) can do that the Ranger is incapable of. One class is strictly superior to the other - such that if I want to play a vanilla ranger in BG2, I'm better off playing an F/T and just calling it a ranger. There are lots of similar issues - by mid-levels, for instance, a buffed-up cleric is better at fighting than a fighter; Berserkers are largely just barbarians with better equipment options; Cleric/Rangers are druids with better THAC0, more and better spells, and no worthless shapeshifting abilities; so on and so forth; etc (who, me, bitter?).

 

PoE, in trying to be conscious of balance, has presented us with classes that actually are very different from one another. Ciphers, Rangers, and Chanters are weird and interesting. Priests and Druids show tremendous promise. Paladins and Fighters feel like different classes 90% of the time, instead of the 10% common to the IE games. These are just a couple of examples - for all of my concerns about PoE's beta, class diversity is absolutely not among them. And I'm confident that it will be maintained, and probably even advanced, as development goes forward.

 

tl;dr Balance is good, and PoE's take on it does not restrict class diversity, but rather produces it.

 

Also classes being balanced might destroy solo plays that were also a lot of fun in IE games.

 

... why? How? Soloing was doable with any class in the IE games. It was dramatically harder with some than with others, but that wasn't a good thing.

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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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Also classes being balanced might destroy solo plays that were also a lot of fun in IE games.

 

... why? How? Soloing was doable with any class in the IE games. It was dramatically harder with some than with others, but that wasn't a good thing.

 

Maybe it was doable but wasn't much fun. Some classes let you beat encounters in first try if you knew what was coming and didn't get really unlucky.

Others you had to cheese through the game like crazy and abuse AI and game limitations.

 

I am afraid with PoE solo plays will always come down to abusing AI and game limitations.

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Hey Gkathellar, why do you compare multi-classes to single classes unit? Necessarily, a multi classe character, who take 2-3 times more xp to level up, will be better than a single class character.

 

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Hey Gkathellar, why do you compare multi-classes to single classes unit? Necessarily, a multi classe character, who take 2-3 times more xp to level up, will be better than a single class character.

 

Because, at least in the several specific cases I mention above, a particular multiclass is better than a particular single class at the same total experience points. A C/R with 89,000 xp is strictly better than a druid with 89,000 xp, for instance. That has a lot to do with the way the xp scale worked in 2nd edition AD&D, but it's not the sole cause.


If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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Being a 2nd ed. AD&D player and fan of old-school crpgs I have to say that Classes weren't balanced, but also that this was not a bad thing.

 

Most Classes were unique in their abilities and were able to act in a seperate ways. Why have balanced Classes in PoE ? The effort to do that may result in a quite similar 11. People who have tried the beta can share their exp & opinions about this.

 

That's totally a different viewpoint.  No one has ever said something similar on this forum or any others.

Edited by anameforobsidian

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Classes in PE have worse balance than a party of optimally made AD&D 2E characters at the moment.

...

 

1868967-1862309_notsureifserious.jpg

 

am suspecting that anybody who had to dm 2e and deal with 2e kits is having a similar reaction. is amazing just how many priests o' mystra and red knight sudden show up in 2e campaigns contemporaneous with splat books, and the proliferation o' bladesingers were amusing. hell, the base 2e stuff were not only woeful unbalanced, but leveling complete changed the balance dynamic for classes. 2e ad&d included such wonderful nonsense as psionic wild talents and pretty much everything in skills and powers, but even the core phb classes were balance broken from the start.

 

PoE does have some notable fails for class balance, but using 2e d&d to contrast? yeah, am not certain if you is serious. sadly, am guessing that you are.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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You haven't even really played the latest patch, have you gromnir ;)

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You haven't even really played the latest patch, have you gromnir ;)

 

... I get the vaguest impression that you're not all that familiar with 2E beyond the IE games. Would that be accurate?


If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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Wrong. Played 2E P&P in the late 90s. However we did not have any splat books.

 

Rogues and other classes in PE are sooo fkn broken at the moment it's not funny. Nothing in AD&D 2E is that strong, even the OP wizard spells have a per day limit, whereas some PE classes can lollerskates through every encounter due to replenishing per encounter abilities.

Edited by Sensuki

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You haven't even really played the latest patch, have you gromnir ;)

 

... I get the vaguest impression that you're not all that familiar with 2E beyond the IE games. Would that be accurate?

 

that would be our guess. then again, sensuki is kinda schizophrenic with emoticon usage, so perhaps this time he ain't serious.

 

*shrug*

 

we loaded the new build up last night and this am. sure, is not enough time to discover all balance issues in PoE, but compared to a "party of optimally made AD&D 2E characters" there is such a vast gulf in balance concerns that we have a hard time being other than complete dismissive o' sensuki on this matter.

 

HA! Good Fun! 


"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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A whooping 20 minutes of good testing right there buddy.

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closer to 8 hours as it were a weekend... but we did note earlier that we hadn't been exhaustive in our exploration o' balance. played ranger, cipher and barbarian in addition to the bb staples. 'course, we have considerable hours played with the previous builds o' PoE and nothing has jumped out at us that would even make us remote consider an optimized 2e AD&D party to be more balanced.

 

we do note you said you played in the 90s, but you don't say how much? 20 minutes? *shrug* playing is also different than dming. a decent dm in a pnp setting can balance gameplay even if the rules ain't particular balanced. Gromnir frequent had to make adjustments to keep vanilla bards and thieves happy once combat began in a 2e session. perhaps your limited experience as a player of 2e, sans all the rules that could optimize, gives you a less clear picture o' ad&d than those folks with more experience... much as you believe our 8 hours o' gameplay is insufficient.

 

*insert emoticon of your choice here*

 

HA! Good Fun!


"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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I haven't DM'd 2E no, only 3E and 4E. I was a player in a few campaigns. My favourite one was the Dark Sun one one of my friends ran.

 

2E does have some underpowered classes, but nothing is as OP in the 5-8 level range as the stuff in PE at the moment.

Edited by Sensuki

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Are they really that out of whack right now, Sensuki? It seems to me like the majority of the imbalance rests on the fulcrum of little, easily tweaked things like the Rogue's stacking multiplier, etc.

 

Not to say that there's not still room for actual core class balance, those little tweaks aside, but they don't seem to really be that far from one another, inherently.

 

Besides, the type of balance we're after here isn't really class-vs-class balance, per se. It's more class-vs-some-mean. The mean is "I'm effectively doing stuff in combat, and when I level up and/or gain points and talents, that feels significant." So, even if one class one-shotted everything in the game, that would make all the other classes imbalanced with that class, but it wouldn't mean that you "sucked," relative to the mean of actually being effective and progressing through the game, if you chose any other class.

 

That OP class would obviously need to be reigned in, but that would be a pretty minor thing, considering (make him do less damage, etc.). If one class doesn't even have anything numbers-tweakable to bring it into check (or up to par), and another class has nothing but easily tweakable things, then that would be a much larger concern to me. Like "All the Priest does is heal!" That would be bad, because to fix that, you couldn't just make his healing do more damage. You'd have to create all new abilities and such to get him to be able to do more than just heal, and/or completely change existing abilities, etc.

 

Tweaking is expected in a beta, for many an iteration. Inherent design failure is not.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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okie dokie. as we said, am having a hard time taking you serious, particularly as you now throw dark suns into the mix with all of its wacky balance issues.

 

a "party of optimally made AD&D 2E characters" was a serious headache for a dm, especially if one or two players were not fully optimized. trying to keep the game equally fun for all 2e players were a chore given such balance concerns. in point o' fact, if every player were equal munchkiny, it were actual much easier to dm such a campaign. because o' the enormous gap between powerful and powerless and useful and useless, d&d 2e were at its worst for a dm when optimized and non-optimized mixed in one party... and there is nothing in our ridiculous high number o' hours o' total gameplay o' PoE that would make us think that it iseven remotely close to having 2e ad&d balance issues.

 

there is indeed some serious balance issues related to dt and particular weapons, but those ain't specific class related. 

 

btw, for total weapon damage output, rogue and ranger is still tops for us. again, for the rogue or fighter, their damage is far too heavily tied to their weapon choice, but rogues get bonus damage that the fighter doesn't get. compare a rogue with a bow to a fighter with a heavy-damage weapon would be unfair, yes? also, for whatever reason, folks always forget to add animal companion damage to ranger total damage output. we made a firearms ranger who were getting consistent damage in the 40s... and his freaking bear is Still hitting for +50.  

 

HA! Good Fun!

Edited by Gromnir

"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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in point o' fact, if every player were equal munchkiny, it were actual much easier to dm such a campaign.

Everyone in our group was a power gamer.

 

There are weapon balance issues, but the damage multiplier stacking with Rogues is literally insane at the moment. I got a 244 crit the other day with the stock BB Rogue and an Arbalest, and I made a party of Rogues who were all regularly critting for 130-190 damage each, complete walk in the park.

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kinda proving our point(s). you played in a munchkiny ad&d group, so is unlikely you saw from a dm perspective just how bad ad&d 2e balance were, and your rogue example illustrates our concerns about PoE weapons and dt. is not that the classes is broken so much as is the dt and weapons.

 

HA! Good Fun!


"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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There are weapon balance issues, but the damage multiplier stacking with Rogues is literally insane at the moment. I got a 244 crit the other day with the stock BB Rogue and an Arbalest, and I made a party of Rogues who were all regularly critting for 130-190 damage each, complete walk in the park.

That's what I mean. Take that away, and how much insanity would remain, for example?

 

I'm not trying to argue semantics, but, it just seems like if something as simple as "Oh, woops... that doesn't need to be stacking, *fix*" brings the Rogue significantly closer to the mean, then the Rogue, as a class, isn't really that "imbalanced."

 

Or, to put it in a possibly-less-like-spoken-by-a-defective-android fashion, the difference in something like damage output numbers does not necessarily coincide proportionately to the difference in the balance of class "blueprints," so to speak. If the classes were buildings, and you wanted them to all have the same square-footage, and Steve the construction worker accidentally wrote 100 on one wall, instead of 10. Well, that building's HUGE, but the blueprint's 99.9% fine. You just need to fix that number.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Actually no, because the rogue has that damage capability with any weapon, not just the arbalest. That's per-hit damage. You can give Rogues dual daggers and they perform almost as good, if not better in some cases. Due to the ridiculous damage multiplier stacking they are like the only class worth using 1H weapons on.

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