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A Different Viewpoint about 'Balanced Classes'

class balance classic crpg

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#21
Gromnir

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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, 04 October 2014 - 12:58 PM.


#22
Sensuki

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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.

#23
Gromnir

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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!



#24
Lephys

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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.

#25
Sensuki

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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.

#26
gkathellar

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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.

 

I stand corrected.

 

I think you and Gromnir may just be approaching this question from different points of reference and different depths/varieties/types of exposure. Going by your accounts, it seems like you have more PoE experience and Gromnir has more 2E experience, so you're talking past each other referring to balance issues with either that the other hasn't had a chance to experience.

 

I'm not a 2E guru, myself, nor have I put tons and tons of hours into the backer beta, but my D&D3E kung fu is decent, so I'll try to make a comparison. I know a lot of gamers who don't think the issues in D&D 3.5 are that severe because they played in a party with minimal optimization and a forgiving DM. 3.5 is, of course, a game so broken that at the low end of optimization you've got 1st-level wizards using 9th-level spells, and at the high end you're defeating omnipotent kobolds through a mix of non-temporal logic, imaginary numbers, and multiple aleph orders of infinity. Also you can bring someone back to life by drowning them. Considering that, I wouldn't be surprised if there were egregious imbalances in games I'm less familiar with, that I'm not aware of due to a lack of familiarity. The same may apply.



#27
Sensuki

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2E was never supposed to be balanced, and it weighs combat and non-combat stuff together (although so does 3E).

#28
Elerond

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only class worth using 1H weapons on.

 

I disagree because in this point because BB_Fighter does fine with 1H weapon. Constantly over 30 points damage per hit and weaker enemies he slaughter with ease as you can see from my screen shot, where he uses that default axe which he starts with. 



#29
archangel979

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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.

 
I stand corrected.
 
I think you and Gromnir may just be approaching this question from different points of reference and different depths/varieties/types of exposure. Going by your accounts, it seems like you have more PoE experience and Gromnir has more 2E experience, so you're talking past each other referring to balance issues with either that the other hasn't had a chance to experience.
 
I'm not a 2E guru, myself, nor have I put tons and tons of hours into the backer beta, but my D&D3E kung fu is decent, so I'll try to make a comparison. I know a lot of gamers who don't think the issues in D&D 3.5 are that severe because they played in a party with minimal optimization and a forgiving DM. 3.5 is, of course, a game so broken that at the low end of optimization you've got 1st-level wizards using 9th-level spells, and at the high end you're defeating omnipotent kobolds through a mix of non-temporal logic, imaginary numbers, and multiple aleph orders of infinity. Also you can bring someone back to life by drowning them. Considering that, I wouldn't be surprised if there were egregious imbalances in games I'm less familiar with, that I'm not aware of due to a lack of familiarity. The same may apply.

Both these examples depends on brain dead DMs and lot of splatbooks.

#30
constantine

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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.

 

 

 

Ty for your feedback gkathellar, my fear has been put to rest.

 

 

 

However, reading the rest of your discussion, seems to me that balance will be something hard to achieve in PoE.. Is it because they made things too complicated perhaps ? It pains me to read that every new beta update has a new OP Class, like this is some mmorpg.

 

 

Maybe they should make some hard decisions ? Get closer to the D&D facts, since this is were their inspiration comes from anyway ? And, lastly, simplify rules governing combat ?

 

 

I love it that Mr Sawyer was creative and I too hate how D&D handles quite many things, but maybe those are the necessary evil after all.

 

 

 

*edit:so not to double post*


Edited by constantine, 04 October 2014 - 01:43 PM.


#31
gkathellar

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Both these examples depends on brain dead DMs and lot of splatbooks.

 

Lessssee, RotD, RotW, UA doesn't count cause that's OGL, and CM ... wait, three splatbooks is a lot? :p

 

In all seriousness, neither depends on brain dead DMs, because both are theoretical optimization, not actually intended for play. Which is why I used them as examples - they're easy examples, used for the purpose of illustrating a point about how depth of experience can lead one to approach subject matter in a way that occasionally makes it difficult to discuss. And that's all. I have no interest in discussing or debating 3.X in any way, except maybe to provide comparisons, or humor.

 

I really should have known better than to even mention it. Mentioning 3.X on a forum with tabletop gamers is like saying "Macbeth" in the theater.



#32
redneckdevil

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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.


I do have a question for you and no sarcasm, im asking because i have followed ur threads and want to know something.
Take away the multiplier woukd the rogues still be broken? The dmg they are doing then, if still high, is still considered broken because the rogues usually in pnp are usually subpar compared to ther classes and we are basing that off rogues history of being subpar and now they are actual dmg dealers above their history in pnp? Would u consider without the multipliers and their ability to take down npcs quickly place them in an almost "glass cannon" state since rogues seem to have high survivability due to things dying quicker? I know they have a very nice escape ability but i think its only limited to once an encounter? With that being used up and with tbeir lower dmg, would it place them back in the "subpar" category or glass cannon category or still very viable?

#33
Lephys

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^ I think he might've thought I meant "take away the arbalest" when I said "take away that."

Yeah, I meant take away the stacking multipliers (and/or tweak the damage multiplier numbers or what-have-you -- "fix" the Rogue damage values), and how much insanity would be left.

#34
Gromnir

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^ I think he might've thought I meant "take away the arbalest" when I said "take away that."

Yeah, I meant take away the stacking multipliers (and/or tweak the damage multiplier numbers or what-have-you -- "fix" the Rogue damage values), and how much insanity would be left.

actually, take away the arbalest, and a few other weapons, and you would see many o' the OP complaints from the recent build disappear. the ranger and rogue is s'posed to be doing the most damage, but the extreme examples is coming with a very limited number o' weapons. the crit numbers tend to shock and awe, but when we look at total damage output in our party, rogue and wizard seem to be having the biggest numbers... though again, am suspecting that the way the ui tracks damage, ranger animal companion is not included with ranger numbers. a ranger with a bear has ridiculous offense output that is not crit dependent.

 

HA! Good Fun!


Edited by Gromnir, 04 October 2014 - 02:50 PM.


#35
Nonek

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I've been thinking about this for quite a while, and lately i'm of the opinion that balance in combat for characters in crpg's is more important, simply because there is not much else to do. Thieves did not need to be skilled warriors, because they were massively useful in an urban environment, with their cant, contacts, assassination missions, climbing ability (amongst other skills) and later access to their own fledgling guild. Rangers were likewise kings of the wilderness, and Fighters lords of their own demenses and recognised as rulers, with retinues.

 

Mages were arguably more powerful, perhaps a little less than Clerics, with their access to other planes, divinations and enchanting of items as well as all the charming little useful spells such as Magic Mouth. But these overpowered classes also if wise usually needed the others, a Thief for the city, a Ranger for the Wild and a Fighter as muscle and protection (or a meatshield if honest.)

 

With these uses no longer apparent, or somewhat changed or diminished, maybe balance in combat is more needed to make up for these other roles. I'm hardly an expert or a designer however.



#36
Gromnir

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a point we see getting missed is that rogue and ranger is 'posed to be the heavy-hitters. furthermore, 'cause perhaps we didn't mention in the thread, developers is attempting to balance usefulness rather than power. extremes in power does diminish usefulness o' competing talents, weapons, classes, etc., but goal is not to make all PoE features balance on a spreadsheet. if our barbarian were doing more damage than our ranger and were a better tank, then we would have a balance problem. if our mage could effective wade into combat and be effective untouchable while doing the best single-target and aoe damage in the game, then we would have ad&d 2e... and we would have busted balance. at the moment, we feel that the paladin is weak, but folks seem to disagree with us. we also do not like that the cleric's buffing and healing role is essential... should be more than a single heal class. even so, compared to ad&d, we don't have any obvious chump classes, and the claims o' OP classes rely much on particular weapons and they is ignoring the class roles.

 

HA! Good Fun!



#37
archangel979

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Both these examples depends on brain dead DMs and lot of splatbooks.

 
Lessssee, RotD, RotW, UA doesn't count cause that's OGL, and CM ... wait, three splatbooks is a lot? :p
 
In all seriousness, neither depends on brain dead DMs, because both are theoretical optimization, not actually intended for play. Which is why I used them as examples - they're easy examples, used for the purpose of illustrating a point about how depth of experience can lead one to approach subject matter in a way that occasionally makes it difficult to discuss. And that's all. I have no interest in discussing or debating 3.X in any way, except maybe to provide comparisons, or humor.
 
I really should have known better than to even mention it. Mentioning 3.X on a forum with tabletop gamers is like saying "Macbeth" in the theater.

3 splatbooks or 1, you still need them. Also theoretical builds mean **** until they can be used in the game. Especially since some of them (like that stone throwing Massive Hurler that can destroy the planet) would never be allowed in real game because it stretches the rules to its outer limit and beyond and that is why the arbiter in the form of a DM exists. WotC could put any **** in the splatbooks because they know that average DMs will be smart enough arbiters and throw away all of that **** that you are using to falsely accuse D&D as broken.

If you want to show how broken it is, show us broken builds that would be allowed in average D&D game (best ones were Frenzied Berserker or Dervish with 2 wounding scimitars for melee types).

Edited by archangel979, 04 October 2014 - 04:40 PM.


#38
Sensuki

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actually, take away the arbalest, and a few other weapons, and you would see many o' the OP complaints from the recent build disappear.


Myself, mutonizer, Hiro II, swordofthesith, MoonWolf, morhilane, illathid and Fiebras think otherwise (among others).

We know that Rogues are supposed to be a DPS class, but they are doing far, far too much at the moment. Especially considering that pretty much all creatures were nerfed in the latest patch.

Edited by Sensuki, 04 October 2014 - 09:55 PM.


#39
Gromnir

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actually, take away the arbalest, and a few other weapons, and you would see many o' the OP complaints from the recent build disappear.


Myself, mutonizer, Hiro II, swordofthesith, MoonWolf, morhilane, illathid and Fiebras think otherwise (among others).

We know that Rogues are supposed to be a DPS class, but they are doing far, far too much at the moment. Especially considering that pretty much all creatures were nerfed in the latest patch.

 

*chuckle*

 

somebody is easily distracted. "Classes in PE have worse balance than a party of optimally made AD&D 2E characters at the moment." does the current classes need balancing? sure. actual, we mentioned more than once that the PoE classes need balancing. you telling us that you and others think rogue needs balancing is amusing, but not near as relevant as you think. we noted that removing a few weapons would significant diminish complaints about some classes being op, so you acting as if your observation is a rejection or retort is, well, not.

 

*shrug*

 

your initial point were ridiculous. am not sure why you are holding on so tenaciously to this. 

 

HA! Good Fun!



#40
Sensuki

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The weapon damage ranges are not the problem, it's the stackable multipliers that the class gets. Weapons do need balance, but the Rogue gets several damage multipliers to stack on top of whatever weapon they use and pretty much rape everything. You can do it with daggers, just like you can with an arbalest, it's you who's ignoring that.







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