Friday, February 21, 2014

Few words on class balance

The man that fears no one (especially PVE players) - CirithGorgor - posted a thread that I thought we would NEVER see on AOC forums: Official Thread - Class Balance Tweaks.

Here is a re-post for you non-subers out there:

Old 02-18-2014, 04:18 PM  Report Post   CirithGorgor is offline   #1
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Funcom Official Thread - Class Balance Tweaks

So, one of the goals of the PvP gear changes was to try and avoid any class changes.
However, after some thought and some data gathered from the first testlive event this no longer seems like it will be a realistic goal.
Therefore we are looking at making some changes to class balance to compliment the PvP gear changes.

The changes we are currently looking at (these are not set in stone), without going into specific numbers at this point are:

Void of Madness : Normalise this ability into a single stacking buff (to remove the random factor), replace crit damage with life tap and base spell damage with mana tap and slightly lower other buff elements (based on max stack vs current individual buffs).

Burst of Aggression : This will now apply the Fighting Spirit effect for a short period and will not be possible to activate while that effect is in place.

Overcome the Odds : A particle effect will be added to this ability, a minor snare will be added.

Blessed Conquest : A minor snare will be added.

Retribution : The retributive damage from this ability will only be able to hit the same player target once every X seconds.

Conqueror Disciplines and Formations : Weapon damage gained from these abilities and the bonus provided from battlefield commander will be lowered.

Stall the Advance : The retributive damage from this ability will only be able to hit the same player target once every X seconds.

Defensive Stance and Frenzy Stance : A larger cooldown will be added to swapping between these two stances. The vulnerability debuff in Frenzy stance will be increased.

Flesh to Worms : The duration of this DoT will be reduced.

Taking the Shot : Increased cooldown on this ability.

This thread should be used to firstly provide feedback on the proposed changes and secondly to provide suggestions on any minor changes you believe we could make to get better class balance in PvP without negatively affecting PvE. These suggestions should be minor and based on existing abilities and not a full class revamp.

This does also mean the last set of changes to PvP Tier 3 Soldier armours are likely to be reverted to their present TestLive state.

Last edited by CirithGorgor; 02-18-2014 at 04:50 PM..

It grew into 500 pages long festival of blames, half-baked theories and wishes. That and PVE crowd coming to complain that every single change will alter the game and the very fabric of reality it self in a ways we cannot imagine (and will probably also cause polar shift, the dead rising from their graves and VAT tax going 2% up).

Mind you it is great that we have such thread and that people participate, but some are just here to spread the hate - while stroking their soldier mains saying "my preciousssss"

I pity any and all dev that needs to go through this thread :D

So what is the state of pvp balance in PvP? Well, it is more or less NOT BROKEN. See? I am not saying it is balanced, it is not broken so every class has a shot at every other class and a realistic chances of emerging victorious from the encounter. It wasn't always like that. I remember how back in 2008 I couldn't kill certain Conqs because of .... bugged cunning deflection. And combo skipping, remember THAT? How about insta-CC spells (the OPness era of 1.6 assassin)? And how about no global immunity to major CCs? Yeah, that assassin charge + root + instant snap kick knock back + skipped GC and DWW was hell of fun, right? No, not really. Oh and remember STAMINA ISSUES? Instant respawn that allowed to pick up flag on spawn till the end of minigame? I could just keep going, but it would all point to the conclusion: In my humble opinion things are most "not broken" since ever.

Now to the balance: what is balance? How do you define it? My take on it is to state that "balance" in which classes are performing similar in terms of their function as archetype (rogue, priest, soldier) and are close to requiring same amount of effort and taking similar risks to perform well in PvP. Assassin, and I hope there is no argument here, is a true glass cannon as it can deal a lot of damage but he will die fast. Balanced? Close enough. Dark Templar deal less damage, but his damage to survivability ratio is off the charts. In short: Dark Templar can fill in the role of damage dealer while still being a superb tank. Assassin can DPS very well, but can't tank shit. So while Dark Templar might take similar effort to land combos and DPS down the enemy (or even a little more effort than assassin since his damage IS lower) his survivality is unmatched and so he takes very little risks.   The problem is that solider classes have lost their archetype focus and became "rogues in armor" having a raw damage to take down a cloth armor user while keeping the HP pools and mitigation of tanks.

The changes are needed. Hell, I am even for gutting assassin class down and changing stuff around too! I hate stagnation and if anything is going to get us closer to "balance" is continuous trial and error which is the only path to the game's improvement. I am all for it. And if CirithGorgor need to upset few players to get the game moving in the right direction then so be it, you can't make an omlet without breaking few eggs. Besides, EVERY SINGLE DAMN CHANGE IN THE LAST 5 YEARS always got people upset even if the results were noting but positive. Respawn system anyone? People were SUPER upset about it and threatening to leave the game and all that and you even remember how old system looked like? Me neither.

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