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Nukelavee45

Game balance

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Because balance is a fresh new topic here on the forums...

The thought occurs to me that, to a point, teh players are the reason teh devs are so bad at balancing various ship types, etc.  I say this in respect to my past experience in tabletop gaming design.

I didn't come up with the rules and system of our products - I tried to find the weak points, the situations that the designers didn't foresee, and the solutions that they never imagined a player would exploit.  The thing is, even with those things fixed up (I fought hard to keep some OP stuff in, guys, I really did.  But the boss's favourites got buffed instead.  ), sooner or later, a player would come up with something brutally effective, and it could warp a meta fast if you didn't squash it.  Even so, some things couldn't just be tweaked, they had to stay more or less as is, and so went the meta.

That kinda thing is likely a factor in WoWS, too.  Designers have a vision of a game, they think they know how we'll use the  ships and maps... but, we do our own thing, and some of us create outside of context issues for their prediction of how gameplay with go.  And if they are good or effective slants on things, the concept/tactic spreads to others.

And before you say "they should be able to predict how bad things will work, or how players will actually play...", nope.  They can't.

None of this changes what is or isn't wrong with the game - I'm just saying, the devs aren't entirely lackwits, keeping ahead of players is like herding cats.

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Yep, you try to think of every possible way something is going to shake out and when you think you found all of them someone finds a new way to throw all of your work into the dust bin.

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Yep. Test played an Eastern front scenario for a turn based tank combat game that was supposed to be a fairly easy German victory.

Unless of course, the Russian player uses his supply of Molotov cocktails and Ampulmet flame weapons to light the ENTIRE TOWN on fire and retreated off the map. German morale and material superiority was no match for a Dresden style fire storm.

 

Matt

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16 minutes ago, mobryan said:

Yep. Test played an Eastern front scenario for a turn based tank combat game that was supposed to be a fairly easy German victory.

Unless of course, the Russian player uses his supply of Molotov cocktails and Ampulmet flame weapons to light the ENTIRE TOWN on fire and retreated off the map. German morale and material superiority was no match for a Dresden style fire storm.

 

Matt

LOL, it's funny you mention that.  I remember back in the day I used to like to play tabletop strategy games.  I picked up this one from Avalon Hill I believe called Hitler's War.  It was a rather simplistic game as that genre went, no complex supply line management or unit differences.  It was more complex than Axis and Allies but not by a lot.  Anyway, my buddy and I sit down to play and he's playing Russia and I'm playing Germany.  You could tell the game was kind of designed for the Germans to be dominant early and push into Russia and the real play would start after the Soviet player could move units up to reinforce the front as they started out extremely undermanned there at first. 

Basically as long as an attack was successful, you could continue to press the attack forward until you lost the dice roll.  Each successive attack lowered the chances of success but it was only a single 6 sided die so you always had a 1 in 6 chance.  If you're a aficionado of this game and my details are wrong, forgive me.  It's been like 20 years since I played it.  Anyway, my buddy literally broke the game with lucky dice rolls.  He massed amost all his units at one point along the Polish border and instead of playing defense, he went on an offensive.  By like turn 3 he was in Germany and took Berlin.  Had he not been so lucky with the dice rolls, I would have blunted his attack and he would have been so badly out of position that I would have easily turned the tables on him but that didn't happen.  Apparently the designers never considered "what will happen if the Russian player goes on the offensive from the start and doesn't care about losing?"  Well the answer is they take Berlin in turn 3 of a game that is designed to last much longer than that lol.

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When a buddy used his characters telekinesis to pick magic using assassins  up, to teh limit of his range, which was something stupid like 150 yards or so.  And drop them.    I was so jealous. 

 

Old school rpgs are the best for breaking the game in a huge way.  The look in the ref's eyes as he realizes you just avoided 6 month of plans for teh campaign, by sheer perversity.   And that's somebody who actually knows you and how you game.  If they can't keep things done the way they want, what hope does WG have?

heh

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3 hours ago, Nukelavee45 said:

Because balance is a fresh new topic here on the forums...

The thought occurs to me that, to a point, teh players are the reason teh devs are so bad at balancing various ship types, etc.  I say this in respect to my past experience in tabletop gaming design.

I didn't come up with the rules and system of our products - I tried to find the weak points, the situations that the designers didn't foresee, and the solutions that they never imagined a player would exploit.  The thing is, even with those things fixed up (I fought hard to keep some OP stuff in, guys, I really did.  But the boss's favourites got buffed instead.  ), sooner or later, a player would come up with something brutally effective, and it could warp a meta fast if you didn't squash it.  Even so, some things couldn't just be tweaked, they had to stay more or less as is, and so went the meta.

That kinda thing is likely a factor in WoWS, too.  Designers have a vision of a game, they think they know how we'll use the  ships and maps... but, we do our own thing, and some of us create outside of context issues for their prediction of how gameplay with go.  And if they are good or effective slants on things, the concept/tactic spreads to others.

And before you say "they should be able to predict how bad things will work, or how players will actually play...", nope.  They can't.

None of this changes what is or isn't wrong with the game - I'm just saying, the devs aren't entirely lackwits, keeping ahead of players is like herding cats.

Not herding cats........selling to cats. 

Balance is always second to revenue and the dev are directed to "create stuff that makes money....."  Whether we agree with that or not.  Make no mistake about that.  Their mantra is:  "Revenue first, Balance: if necessary to maintain revenue..."

Look at the sales gimmicks this past year and I can't see a "balance discussion" even possible....because, imbalance created large sales.........  We still are screwed up because of the gimmicks and WG is trying to figure out a way keep the revenue stream above minimum amounts....  Only a Combat Effectiveness (CE) system could actually create balance at all levels......and, WG has 0 interest in even addressing macro level balance they use now....!  That might upset the revenue stream and projections...........  Nope:  status quo = profitable.

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13 hours ago, Asym_KS said:

Not herding cats........selling to cats. 

Balance is always second to revenue and the dev are directed to "create stuff that makes money....."  Whether we agree with that or not.  Make no mistake about that.  Their mantra is:  "Revenue first, Balance: if necessary to maintain revenue..."

Look at the sales gimmicks this past year and I can't see a "balance discussion" even possible....because, imbalance created large sales.........  We still are screwed up because of the gimmicks and WG is trying to figure out a way keep the revenue stream above minimum amounts....  Only a Combat Effectiveness (CE) system could actually create balance at all levels......and, WG has 0 interest in even addressing macro level balance they use now....!  That might upset the revenue stream and projections...........  Nope:  status quo = profitable.

I think herding is accurate. 

Don't get me wrong - of course revenue is the driving factor - WG is a business, not a charity or not for profit corporation.  Only an idiot would think there is something sketchy about wanting to make a living off one's skills. 

You ignore the factor that a truly broken game, an utterly imbalanced one, dies pretty damn quick.  WoWS, like most similar format games (multiplayer online, random team matches) is mostly balanced.  If it wasn't, people would play nothing but the OP broken cash premiums, and only cash ships would ever be decent to play.  That isn't what is happening, despite the chicken little posters here.

As a developer, you must keep switching things up on a fairly regular timetable - players like me, who only play a handful of favourite ships, who don't even bother to grind or finish lines, who aren't rabid collectors or meta chasers, are a minority.  The rest of you need to see new shinies, or you get bored, and leave.  Hence, teh constant adjustments on ships, etc - it switches things up a bit, it's not perfectly balanced, but, meh, a minor speed wobble won't kill the game.

From my point of view, the degree of imbalance is within tolerance levels.
Also from my point of view, chasing perfect balance is both a waste of time, and dangerous.  -opinion->    I used to play WOW a LOT - from Vanilla to WoD, before the game was changed too much to keep me.  IMO, the balance boojum was to blame for my issues with the game.  It got bland.  Super bland.  All the fun situational or specialized abilities were removed, in the name of balance.  Which really meant in the name of raid balance.  Rather than being the best warlock in a raid, people wanted to be the top player on the damage charts.  DPS was serious business.  Of course, they did it by removing things that clever players could use to minmax their actions, dumbing things down.  And they still run on the "balance" concept that some class/specs will be tops early in an expac, others will be tops later, and they rotate things thru so everybody gets a few months to feel leet.

It cost them players.

Perfect balance=bland, and players will always find ways to break balance anyways.

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1 hour ago, Nukelavee45 said:

I think herding is accurate. 

Don't get me wrong - of course revenue is the driving factor - WG is a business, not a charity or not for profit corporation.  Only an idiot would think there is something sketchy about wanting to make a living off one's skills. 

You ignore the factor that a truly broken game, an utterly imbalanced one, dies pretty damn quick.  WoWS, like most similar format games (multiplayer online, random team matches) is mostly balanced.  If it wasn't, people would play nothing but the OP broken cash premiums, and only cash ships would ever be decent to play.  That isn't what is happening, despite the chicken little posters here.

As a developer, you must keep switching things up on a fairly regular timetable - players like me, who only play a handful of favourite ships, who don't even bother to grind or finish lines, who aren't rabid collectors or meta chasers, are a minority.  The rest of you need to see new shinies, or you get bored, and leave.  Hence, teh constant adjustments on ships, etc - it switches things up a bit, it's not perfectly balanced, but, meh, a minor speed wobble won't kill the game.

From my point of view, the degree of imbalance is within tolerance levels.
Also from my point of view, chasing perfect balance is both a waste of time, and dangerous.  -opinion->    I used to play WOW a LOT - from Vanilla to WoD, before the game was changed too much to keep me.  IMO, the balance boojum was to blame for my issues with the game.  It got bland.  Super bland.  All the fun situational or specialized abilities were removed, in the name of balance.  Which really meant in the name of raid balance.  Rather than being the best warlock in a raid, people wanted to be the top player on the damage charts.  DPS was serious business.  Of course, they did it by removing things that clever players could use to minmax their actions, dumbing things down.  And they still run on the "balance" concept that some class/specs will be tops early in an expac, others will be tops later, and they rotate things thru so everybody gets a few months to feel leet.

It cost them players.

Perfect balance=bland, and players will always find ways to break balance anyways.

I'm with you on this.   I'm not the collector, the meta guru or the "let's grind entire lines" type of player.  I have 37 ships and 5 - 19 pt CPT's; and, of those ships, a good many are from "presents from gifts" or from "events that gave away ships."  I don't sell gifts because the minute I do, I'd need that ship in yet another event !!!

I hate all gimmicks.  Radar, HE Spam, the "themed events" that involve shiny bobbles and science fiction, etc.....  I was recruited to play a WW2 based FPS-esk with "game weapons" that generally resemble WW2 physics.  I started in WoTs at it's inception, since all of my close friends and I all served together in an Armored Regiment, and we lasted about 6 months in WoTs because it is so stupid it hurt....  We were in Eve for years before that....  Now, they are in "space" and I decided to play this game because I love naval history and have heard every story imaginable from my WW2 neighbors growing up whom were just about all sailors !!!  I had to try this.  It's about one year now and, the gimmicks are getting old, and I hope there is some "decisive changes" soon because what I am seeing is deja vu from WoTs.......  And that, will be a fast exit for many of us: the fool us once meme.......  We are the ultimate customers because we have all of what WG really wants...........it's just the question of "are they savvy enough" to realize that..........  If not, there are dozens of better games now and a whole lot more coming !!!    I've demo'd a few, at innovation conventions, that are out-right mind boggling.....  One, that doesn't have a working title yet and has an x-ticket (an aviation phrase) called "hide"....... A combat game whose sole intention is for you to scout and steal stuff............and, not get caught.  A self learning and intuitive game that can not be played the same way twice; since, the AI "learns" and adapts the game to what you do know, or most often, don't know...............and then, attempts to "teach you" the science, technologies you must be able to master, or the tactics necessary to succeed.......  It learns what you like to do !  A Single player game that is extremely smart and can accommodate children up to PhD+ level players !  I had to learn about "phased array" radars in the sample mission to know how to defeat them.......the 8 year old next to me, was learning how to put back together computer parts to accomplish her mission of getting into a specific folder.......  You are rewarded based on your stealth, the time it takes to accomplish the mission and remaining "invisible" from the bad guys....  

Balance is an illusion to desensitize the meritocracy into believing life is fair.......and, it keeps the culture spending money to remain ahead of the "adaptive friction" levels new tech's offer !!!  What a balancing act !

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