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Brhinosaurus

How would you define balance between classes?

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We all want WoWS to be "balanced" and "fair".  We want to be able to play the ships we like, have a good time, and feel like our odds of doing well are dependent mostly on our skill, not on factors outside our control.

 

If we're asking whether a particular ship is balanced, there are a lot of useful things we can look at.  You can pick a tier 7 battleship and look at how it stacks up to tier 7 battleships.  You can look at average damage, or winning percentage, or whatever.  If one ship is significantly ahead or behind, we might have a pretty good bet that it's out of balance (although there might be some mitigating factors to consider with some of the premium ships).   

 

However, some of the biggest wars on the forums are about the balance of one type of ship vs. another. Are battleships overpowered? Does crusier radar need a nerf? Are carriers sky cancer? Here the stat comparisons don't work, because different ship types have different roles.  Battleships do more damage than destroyers!  Well, they should, right?  But how much more damage should they do? What's balanced?  How much value to you assign to functionality that is harder to measure?

 

So I'm not asking if you think a particular class is under or over powered.  There's already a million other threads for that.  I'm asking how you would even tell.  What SHOULD the balance be? What fact-based (not feeling-based) information would you use to determine if things are fair or not?

 

The one thing I can think of is this: The matchmaker does not always identically match the composition of each team. For example, one team might have 1 CV, 4 BB, 4 CA, 2 DD while the other team has 1 CV, 4 BB, 3 CA, 3 DD.  It would be interesting to see if there are any statistically significant trends in winning percentages in those unbalanced matches.  I don't know that that data is available anywhere though.

 

 

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Number of radars on each team can make a difference.

The team with more radars usually has an advantage, but not so much its a guaranteed win.

Was in a 6-8 battle yesterday where my team had 0 radars, and the enemy team had 3.

We won despite the disadvantage, but Im sure it helped that one of the radar ships YOLO'd early, and a second one didn't position himself in a way to make the radar useful when he used it.

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An interesting question.  Others will disagree, but I've always thought that survival rate should be an important metric in judging balance between ship types - for everything but carriers, for obvious reasons.  And not just gross survival -- did you survive to the end of the match - but some more fine-grained analysis of survival to the 5 minute mark, the 7 minute mark, etc., etc.  Of course it is easy to survive by hiding in the back, and some ship types have been known to be accused of that more than others, so one might want to cross-correlate/adjust by some measure of game activity - base XP per minute unadjusted by win bonus or something like that.  One immediately sees how complicated this is getting.

 

What attracts me to survivability as a measure?  It seems to me it best equalizes the different ways different types play; it asks the question what package of raw hp/armor/agility/stealth, as possessed differently by the different ship types, is most effective in keeping a ship going in a match.  It also, it seems to me, correlates pretty well with the subjective factor of this game, player enjoyment.  I don't think there is any player of any kind of ship who likes constantly being sunk before the 5 minute mark.

 

And it is not that I think survivability should be perfectly equal, but where there is a particularly large gap (even looking at end-match survival, which is not optimal), as existed a little while ago between mid-tier battleships and cruisers for example, it might be indicative of some sort of problem.

 

Anyway, my two cents.

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Class Balance is a touchy subject because there are lots of people that only play one class or even one group of ships in that class. These people have 0 perspective because they only have experience from one side and they constantly cry because their favorite is not mowing down everything in their path. These people exist in every class and make everything much more difficult.

 

On top of that different classes perform differently for different skill levels and different tiers. So a relatively mediocre player that only has played up to tier 7 for example is going to have a very different perspective on class balance than someone that has multiple tier 10s of different classes. 

 

At the very foundation of balance is that the point of the game is to win and anyone should be equally capable of winning no matter the ship (assuming that they are equally competent in whatever they choose)

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Class balance for me would mean that i could use any class and win a 1 v 1 against another player in any other class if I out play them (assuming same tier). 

 

The only tier where this happens is tier 10. All the other tiers have differences in the relative power of each class (not equally balanced).

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IMO, the only way to truly state a ship is OP (IE: not balanced, overpowered) is when everyone plays it because everything else is inferior.  On the flip side, if everyone avoid playing a ship, that's also a good tell that the ship is UP (IE: not balanced, underpowered).

All the other stats get skewed too much.  Look at CV's.  In the hands of a potato, they are a disaster for their team.  In the hands of a Unicum, they are disaster for the red team.  Same ship.  How can you say a ship is OP or UP when it experiences both extremes?

And since it is necessary to grind ships to get to the next tier, any kind of data mining would have to exclude all data for ships played until the next ship in the line has been unlocked.  Only at that point will the players make a conscious decision to keep playing a ship (or not) because of it's performance.

And even then there would be edge cases.  People that only play one line of ships?  Not good data, because they are too inflexible to have the option of choice.

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Class balance is a tricky thing, probably the biggest problem in the game right now. I would say that any class should be hard countered by as many classes as it is a hard counter too.

 

So for BBs, they counter cruisers and BBs, but are countered by CVs and DDs (this is theoretical, we can argue over whether this actually happens). Cruisers counter DDs and CVs, but are countered by BBs and CAs. 

 

A class does not have to be equal to every other equal tier class. A tier 8 CA should stomp a T8 DD, but get stomped by a T8 BB. This doesn't mean that it's a given, but the CA should have an advantage against the DD, and be at a disadvantage against the BB.

 

Where imbalance comes in is when the counterbalance is off. Thus if you gave BBs actual manual secondaries with proper ranges and DF, they'd be OP because they are now effective against all classes. Remove citadels, and cruisers become OP. Remove DF, and CVs rule the seas.

 

It works the other way too. Right now, with the prevalence of AAA, CVs are at a disadvantage. Actually I think CVs are an interesting case. A bad player ends up like the Gambier Bay, with no effective defense if he screws up (or his team). However, a very good CV player is one of the scariest things in the game. I'd be terrified to have to face Aeroon or Ichase in a CV. Even if I was in an AA cruiser, I can't cover everyone at once. But, that is balanced by the incredibly high skill floor for CVs. In my games, I've only seen a dominating performance by a CV driver a handful of times.

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Currently, the balance is somewhat skewed and power creep has worked against mid-tier Cruisers since the coming of the British BBs.  The British BB's ability to put fire on you with HE almost very salvo has created an issue where even angling is no longer a useful tactic.  Beyond the British Cruisers, the other nations cruisers do nto have many redeeming capabilities or gimmicks to offset this imbalance.

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21 minutes ago, SweetRollThief said:

Class balance for me would mean that i could use any class and win a 1 v 1 against another player in any other class if I out play them (assuming same tier). 

 

The only tier where this happens is tier 10. All the other tiers have differences in the relative power of each class (not equally balanced).

 

I don't think balancing around 1v1 makes a lot of sense.  There are no 1v1 game modes unless you count the possibility for it at the end of the match.  I don't think it's unreasonable for one class to dominate another in a 1v1 setting.

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DDs threaten BBs, BBs threaten CLs and CLs threaten DDs. 1v1 balancing would ruin the game!

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To me, "true" balance would mean that if I am in cruiser X and you are in battleship Y or destroyer Z, etc. and we encounter each other on the waves, given equal skill, there's a 50/50 chance of either of us prevailing.

This is difficult, if not impossible to achieve.  The result is, I like my Belfast, for obvious reasons.  However, I've come to notice that when I'm sailing her, people seem to rather dislike my Belfast, again, for obvious reasons.

In the end, it would appear that to balance things that way is, in the end, difficult if not impossible.

So, what then?  Well, in random battles, it's 12v12.  WG has already modified the MM so that it 'hard' balances CVs to one or two per side, and you're only allowed to have one per division.  There are also quite clearly other rules so that the DD population is +/-1 per side, etc.  It appears to make a reasonable attempt to ensure that the numbers and tiers of ships are mirror imaged as much as possible.

Do you want the two fleets to be balanced?  The current 'random' system does not take into account things like player skill etc.  Would you like it to?  Perhaps, in addition to considering things like ship type and tier, etc., it should take into account captain skill?  How would this work?

Perhaps something like this:

MM grabs 24 players from queue.

MM does a database lookup for each captain/ship in the battle and assigns a quality value to each one.  That is, for example, Tier 8 BB with 60% win rate is 48 points, Tier 7 DD with 40% win rate is 28 points.  Divisions receive a value equal to the sum of the individual captains in the div.

MM then starts with the highest value and assigns it to fleet A, second highest to fleet B, then each remaining captain/div is assigned to whichever fleet has the lowest number of points until you get to the end.  The result is two fleets that are theoretically, mathematically balanced based on 'expected' performance.  (Obviously, past performance is not a guarantee of future results).

Battle begins and either you get a close, tense match, or ... the usual complete blowout, but at least people 'feel' like things are 'balance' and they at least had a chance.

Would this be any better than the current situation?  I don't know.  Maybe, maybe not.  Would it be 'balanced'?  Perhaps.

Would it be amusing?  I'd certainly like to see it tried, just to see what would happen.

Personally, I find that my most memorable battles are the ones that are nail biters, and (of course) prefereably the ones where victory is snatched from the jaws of defeat, etc.  Crushing victories can be fun, but often as not are less fun because half the time, you're desperately trying to keep up and get your licks in before the enemy are all gone.  Obviously, crushing defeats are less fun, 'nuff said.

Just a few random thoughts.  Don't take them too seriously, because in the end, I may not be very balanced either.  :)

:cap_haloween:

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Type Balance should be:
Destroyers absolutely demolish Battleships and Battleships should have limited to no tools to counter this.
Cruisers absolutely demolish Destroyers and Destroyers should have limited to no tools to counter this.
Battleships absolutely demolish Cruisers and Cruisers should have limited to no tools to counter this.

Carriers absolutely demolish seperated, lone wolf and yolo players without risk and fear teams of reasonably grouped players.

1v1 is never a metric to balance a team game. Period. 

Edited by AirshipCanon

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14 minutes ago, AirshipCanon said:

Type Balance should be:
Destroyers absolutely demolish Battleships and Battleships should have limited to no tools to counter this.
Cruisers absolutely demolish Destroyers and Destroyers should have limited to no tools to counter this.
Battleships absolutely demolish Cruisers and Cruisers should have limited to no tools to counter this.

Carriers absolutely demolish seperated, lone wolf and yolo players without risk and fear teams of reasonably grouped players.

1v1 is never a metric to balance a team game. Period. 

 

Do you think there's any truth to the argument that the Rock-Scissors-Paper approach fails due to accessibility differences?  A battleship can pretty easily reach the cruisers and a crusier can reach the destroyers, but a destroyer has to avoid or defeat the destroyers and the cruisers before it can come close enough to threaten the battleships (assuming the battleship isn't YOLOing full steam into the objective)?

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1 hour ago, 1nv4d3rZ1m said:

Class Balance is a touchy subject because there are lots of people that only play one class or even one group of ships in that class. These people have 0 perspective because they only have experience from one side and they constantly cry because their favorite is not mowing down everything in their path. These people exist in every class and make everything much more difficult.

 

On top of that different classes perform differently for different skill levels and different tiers. So a relatively mediocre player that only has played up to tier 7 for example is going to have a very different perspective on class balance than someone that has multiple tier 10s of different classes. 

 

At the very foundation of balance is that the point of the game is to win and anyone should be equally capable of winning no matter the ship (assuming that they are equally competent in whatever they choose)

 

Speaking for myself who plays one one class, my perspective is just fine. I don't want ships that can mow everything down, I want to be competitive. An over generalization on your part.

 

But I do agree that any ship should be equally capable of winning, and I would add that any ship should if played smartly, have an equal chance to influence the outcome in a manner that is not RNG dependent. 

 

Down to the last two ships, my Z46 and a Missouri. I've got stealth, he's got radar, Who's going to win? That's balance

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1 minute ago, Destroyer_Suzukaze said:

 

Speaking for myself who plays one one class, my perspective is just fine. I don't want ships that can mow everything down, I want to be competitive. An over generalization on your part.

 

But I do agree that any ship should be equally capable of winning, and I would add that any ship should if played smartly, have an equal chance to influence the outcome in a manner that is not RNG dependent. 

 

Down to the last two ships, my Z46 and a Missouri. I've got stealth, he's got radar, Who's going to win? That's balance

I guess I worded that badly, I didnt mean to imply that anybody that does not have a variety of experience is not capable of a balanced perspective. Just that there seems to be a sizable and vocal minority of people that push changes to dramatically shift balance in their favor and they often have no experience with other classes or high tiers. 

 

As for Z46 and Missouri, I wouldnt hold that up as a great example of what to expect because I wouldnt consider the missouri balanced. That said there are ways to win at that point that dont involve sinking the other ship. 

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Just now, 1nv4d3rZ1m said:

I guess I worded that badly, I didnt mean to imply that anybody that does not have a variety of experience is not capable of a balanced perspective. Just that there seems to be a sizable and vocal minority of people that push changes to dramatically shift balance in their favor and they often have no experience with other classes or high tiers. 

 

As for Z46 and Missouri, I wouldnt hold that up as a great example of what to expect because I wouldnt consider the missouri balanced. That said there are ways to win at that point that dont involve sinking the other ship. 

"Dear WG, Please nerf paper, it's op. Scissors are fine. Signed Rock" is a common theme in any game is my experience

 

I guess my point also poorly worded is the outcome should derive from the players choices. 

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7 minutes ago, 1nv4d3rZ1m said:

 

 

As for Z46 and Missouri, I wouldnt hold that up as a great example of what to expect because I wouldnt consider the missouri balanced. That said there are ways to win at that point that dont involve sinking the other ship. 

 

I am surprised hearing this from you, care to expand? 

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You can balance the ships to a reasonable degree but there is one variable that they can never take into account, the humans playing the ships.

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15 minutes ago, Cobraclutch said:

 

I am surprised hearing this from you, care to expand? 

Its a superior Iowa with stronger extremity armor, stronger forward bulkhead, and radar. On top of  that it also is a premium so it earns better and can take any USN captain. It makes the Iowa completely obsolete and since it has radar it has utility that only cruisers should have. 

 

In spite of that I still would feel confident in a match with a tier 9 DD vs a Missouri mostly because the game provides other ways to win besides sinking the enemy ship and a Missouri would have to put himself in a vulnerable position to contest playing objectives. 

 

This brings up another interesting part of class balance, because sinking ships is not the only way to win a match. How does one weigh the ability of a ship to contest caps or take them vs the ability to sink other ships? 

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2 minutes ago, 1nv4d3rZ1m said:

Its a superior Iowa with stronger extremity armor, stronger forward bulkhead, and radar. On top of  that it also is a premium so it earns better and can take any USN captain. It makes the Iowa completely obsolete and since it has radar it has utility that only cruisers should have. 

 

In spite of that I still would feel confident in a match with a tier 9 DD vs a Missouri mostly because the game provides other ways to win besides sinking the enemy ship and a Missouri would have to put himself in a vulnerable position to contest playing objectives. 

 

This brings up another interesting part of class balance, because sinking ships is not the only way to win a match. How does one weigh the ability of a ship to contest caps or take them vs the ability to sink other ships? 

 

And it's beyond contest caps. My team is ahead on points, clock is counting down. My DD is the last ship on my team, can you find me for the win?

 

It's not all about damage and kills

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The way I see it:

Battleships > Cruisers > Destroyers > Battleships

 

Carriers > Battleships and DDs

 

Cruisers > Carriers

 

In general a ship is balanced if it can play well and expect to survive for most if not all of the game without making any major mistakes.

 

Current Overall Balance:

Battleships - A+ - A Battleship cannot be deleted from 100% HP unless he is completely alone and attacked by a Strike CV that knows what he's doing. Even then it is in question. A well played Battleship is tough to bring down if it isn't out numbered, and even then it can take a while.

Cruisers - D - Cruisers can do absolutely everything right and be taken down from 100% to 0 in a single BB salvo. A good portion cannot defend themselves adequately from air attacks, and don't have the tools to Hunt DDs that might be spotting them. They rely on a Battleship ignoring them, or a DD making a major mistake, or several smaller ones to evade a Cruiser attack. The addition of British BBs is a major concern for them. Not only do RN BBs have equal and sometimes better Concealment, but their HE can citadel a large chunk of Cruisers, their AP is ideal for attacking Cruisers, their HE strips away massive amounts of AA and secondary guns as well as torpedo tubes, lights fires at the highest chance in the game on Cruisers that can't repair, and is strongest against Cruisers due to the /4th mechanic used for their HE shells. A single line has smoke, and the change to smoke concealment hits Cruisers the hardest.

Destroyers: B- - Destroyers are a real mixed bag. They're not perfect, but not awful either. They're firmly in the middle. Destroyers just tend to vary wildly between issues not just between lines but classes as well. While ships like the Khab are so powerful they're considered Cruisers by many (without any of the draw backs), there are ships like the Fubuki that struggle possibly more than they should. DD's seem to have a strong start, and end, but the middle is lacking.

Carriers - F - Completely OP and utterly the worst all at the same time. Most of this grade is determined by how horribly imbalanced the 2 tech tree lines are against each other. Minimal effort and minimal results on War Gaming's Part, not to mention hollow promises and results between Premium's and the "CV Rework" supposedly still coming this year. Simple changes that could make the USN half way decent in the mean time haven't been made, the Saipan change made her too strong, the Kaga violated every balance reason given for last year's USN nerf, the Enterprise is a lesson in how you can have a succesful ship that makes you also feel like someone punched you in the crotch with it's poor mechanics, and the Graf Zeppelin was ALMOST as big of a dumpster fire as the Lexington, but thankfully a common sense HE bomb drop pattern made it a single dumpster fire, instead of the whole landfill like the Lexington. Let's give an over-view of the CV balance at the moment on average:

CV Speed: IJN

CV Protection: IJN

Hangar Space: IJN

Need to grind hangar space: USN

AA: USN

Concealment: IJN

 

 

Reload time per plane: IJN

Total reload time per squad: IJN

Total reload time after losing a squad: IJN

Number of Squads: IJN

Size of Squads: USN

 

When USN AS gets all 3 aircraft types: Tier 9

When IJN AS gets all 3 aircraft types: Tier 6 (Where it first gets AS)

When USN Strike gets all 3 aircraft types: tier 9

When IJN Strike gets all 3 aircraft types: Tier 5 (Where it first gets Strike)
When USN Default gets all 3 aircraft types: Tier 6 (*It does at Tier 4, but gets taken away at Tier 5)

When IJN Default gets all 3 aircraft types: Tier 5
When does USN get 4 or more squads: Tier 7
When does IJN get 4 or more squads: Tier 4

 

 

Max number of fighters: IJN

Fighter DPS: IJN

Fighter HP: USN

Ammo load: USN

Fighter Speed: IJN

 

Max number of DBs: USN

Best drop pattern: IJN

DB Speed: IJN

Best damage per bomb: USN

Best HE chance per bomb: USN

IJN DB Defense: Being faster than USN fighters after bomb drop
USN DB Defense: Defensive Gunnary that is not only only slightly better than the IJN but also so bad it pretty much doesn't matter even with Captain Skills! Wohopee!

Max number of TBs: IJN
Best Drop Pattern: Tie

Worst Drop Pattern: Enterprise
Cross drop: IJN and USN Premiums

USN CVs with a lifetime 50% win rate or more: 2 of 9

IJN CVs with a lifetime 50% win rate or more: 8 of 8

 

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