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Balancing - do we really need it? #520925
16/07/14 01:44 PM
16/07/14 01:44 PM
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Jacob Marner Offline OP
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There has been a lot of thread on this forum about game balancing:

Some skills are better than others. Melee underpowered/overpowered. Leech is overpowered. Pets are overpowered. Etc.

And frankly, I don't think it matters!

In a multiplayer game like Diablo, World of Warcraft, Starcraft, or Counter strike balancing is super important. No player should have better chances than other players so all classes needs to be balanced.

But in a single player, sand box, CRPG like Divinity (or Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, Witcher, or Gothic) I really do not think it is important.

The world is supposed to a sand box. You play in it the way you want. You role play if you want. You power play if you want. You steal if you want. You scum save if you want. You craft if you want. You kill everything that moves if you want to. This is world to have fun in a play as you like it. (Almost) everything is optional.

And if there is something you don't like you just don't do it.
For instance, in this forum I read someone playing the game with just a single character, or with the goal to complete it in as low level as possible (by sneaking by all monsters). I think that is cool. This brings out the sand box in the game - and makes it more like Minecraft or the Sims. And with the incoming MODs I imagine that we will be able to tweak our experience even more.

So who care if someone finds an exploit or cheats?

It all goes very well hand in hand with the no-hand-holding policy in D:OS.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Jacob Marner] #520932
16/07/14 01:48 PM
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Tyhan Offline
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Right now the only way to not become an overpowered godmode destroyer would be to purposefully heavily gimp yourself in attributes, abilities, talents, and skills.

People want the game to be challenging regardless of how they play it, and they don't want to feel like they're making the wrong choice. How do you make people feel like they're making the wrong choice? Make one thing obviously better than another thing.

They want freedom that doesn't nag at them and they want the game to challenge them, not the other way around.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Jacob Marner] #520940
16/07/14 01:56 PM
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The idea that exploits aren't harmful to a sandbox strikes me as irksome. And D:OS does not strike me as a sandbox.

Are you role-playing an allegiance to Chaos?

Last edited by McLovin'; 16/07/14 01:57 PM.
Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Tyhan] #520963
16/07/14 02:27 PM
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Jacob Marner Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Tyhan

Right now the only way to not become an overpowered godmode destroyer would be to purposefully heavily gimp yourself in attributes, abilities, talents, and skills.


You are here talking about another kind of balancing than what I am talking about. You are talking about the difficulty progress through the game. E.g. if certain encounters a too hard to too easy.

Right now we just have 3 difficulties. I think the freedom should include the freedom to choose how difficult the game should be (on the fly like in Baldur's Gate). So if we had a slider to indicate how hard should be it would be perfect. Maybe with a small XP bonus as an added incentive to play at high difficulty.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: McLovin'] #520964
16/07/14 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: McLovin'
And D:OS does not strike me as a sandbox.


I think it is. Not like Minecraft is a sandbox, so I suppose it depends on your definition of sand box.

If you think of it as a world that you can experiment and play around in and solve problems in many ways, then yes it is a sandbox.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Jacob Marner] #520993
16/07/14 03:04 PM
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Yes, we need it. As I said in other thread, cheats are ok. Playing overpowered hero is ok. But it should be conscious decision. Not an accident.

Situations where you pick some talent, or play a class you like in general and suddenly realize that the game became ridiculously easy, shouldn't happen. Save scumming and other ways of abusing game system to became more powerful, are ok for me, because you doing it consciously, you want to do it, this is your decision to make game easier for yourself. But when you just buy a new RPG game, pick a warrior class coz you like playing warriors, and then pick some talents which looks funny (e.g leech and comeback kid) and BOOM, ure immortal and there is completely no challenge even if you switch to hard difficulty - there is clearly something wrong with that game.

Lack of balance isn't a problem for experienced, "hardcore" players who know the game very well, because they just won't pick the overpowered traits, won't use overpowered builds, they can make the game very hard for them if they want. But it can completely spoil the fun for new players. Most fun in the RPG, comes from overcoming difficulties, from becoming more, and more powerful. If you became immortal by accident, there is no point in playing anymore. It becomes boring. Fight are just fillers, winning lacks any sense of accomplishment, you feel no satisfaction. The game just starts to suck.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Jacob Marner] #521014
16/07/14 03:32 PM
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Yeah, some people seem to be too focused on metagaming rather than just enjoying the game and they won't rest until everything is perfect. It's a bad attitude when playing a game, or living a life...

However... overpowered skills/talents are a problem indeed when you want the game to be challenging. Consider this example, I like this specific skill, I think it fits the concept of my character and I want to utilize this skill whenever possible. But what if it makes the game too easy? I just don't use it? It's very reasonable wanting it to be more balanced.

So... while I understand what you are saying and agree with you on some points, I would say game balancing is not completely unnecessary.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Sinthesizer] #521024
16/07/14 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted By: Sinthesizer
Yeah, some people seem to be too focused on metagaming rather than just enjoying the game and they won't rest until everything is perfect. It's a bad attitude when playing a game, or living a life...

However... overpowered skills/talents are a problem indeed when you want the game to be challenging. Consider this example, I like this specific skill, I think it fits the concept of my character and I want to utilize this skill whenever possible. But what if it makes the game too easy? I just don't use it? It's very reasonable wanting it to be more balanced.

So... while I understand what you are saying and agree with you on some points, I would say game balancing is not completely unnecessary.


Yes. Maybe my initial post sounded more extreme than I meant it. Of course a game can become completely unbalanced and not fun as a result.

But if you observe, something like Wow there is an obsessive tendency to balance everything perfectly. And my point is for single player games that is not needed.

There is just no need to overdo it...

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Shaki] #521072
16/07/14 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: Shaki
Yes, we need it. As I said in other thread, cheats are ok. Playing overpowered hero is ok. But it should be conscious decision. Not an accident.

Situations where you pick some talent, or play a class you like in general and suddenly realize that the game became ridiculously easy, shouldn't happen. Save scumming and other ways of abusing game system to became more powerful, are ok for me, because you doing it consciously, you want to do it, this is your decision to make game easier for yourself. But when you just buy a new RPG game, pick a warrior class coz you like playing warriors, and then pick some talents which looks funny (e.g leech and comeback kid) and BOOM, ure immortal and there is completely no challenge even if you switch to hard difficulty - there is clearly something wrong with that game.

Lack of balance isn't a problem for experienced, "hardcore" players who know the game very well, because they just won't pick the overpowered traits, won't use overpowered builds, they can make the game very hard for them if they want. But it can completely spoil the fun for new players. Most fun in the RPG, comes from overcoming difficulties, from becoming more, and more powerful. If you became immortal by accident, there is no point in playing anymore. It becomes boring. Fight are just fillers, winning lacks any sense of accomplishment, you feel no satisfaction. The game just starts to suck.


I'm pretty sure you didn't just "accidentally" pick leech either. You read the description and made a conscious choice to use it.

If you want to bring back the challenge because you accidentally chose leech + comeback kid, you can easily do so. Throw away your orange, green and blue gear. Use white gear only or no armor. Now leech can't heal you as efficiently and your resistances can't protect you from magic.

I get what you are saying, but any problem of human invention can be solved by human means. You aren't as stuck as you think you are.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Jacob Marner] #521078
16/07/14 04:41 PM
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It matters because it's less fun to play when combat is imbalanced. It's also less fun to create builds when there are too many clearly stronger/weaker options.

If some players want an easier time, that's what difficulty settings are for. It shouldn't fall upon the player to try to gimp their characters. I like trying to finely tune my builds, not trying to weaken them just to make the combat challenging.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Fellgnome] #521087
16/07/14 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted By: Fellgnome
It's also less fun to create builds when there are too many clearly stronger/weaker options.

If some players want an easier time, that's what difficulty settings are for. It shouldn't fall upon the player to try to gimp their characters. I like trying to finely tune my builds, not trying to weaken them just to make the combat challenging.


Yep, you summed it up nicely.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Jacob Marner] #521092
16/07/14 04:56 PM
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So why does multiplayer need balancing and single-player doesn't? If you don't want to be underpowered compared to everyone else, then don't choose an underpowered class in a multiplayer game. Exactly the same as in single-player, no? If you're looking for extra challenge in single-player, you gimp yourself in some ways. If you're looking for extra challenge in multiplayer, you gimp yourself in some ways. No? Do you not ultimately play the way you want in multiplayer as well?

I think balancing is needed, because gimping myself intentionally means removing tactical options. I don't have any examples for D:OS yet, but for example I went through UFO: Alien Invasion on hardest difficulty pretty easily. Smoke in the tactical battles is very powerful. Now, I could just not use smoke, but this is removing a big part of tactical options (protecting civilians with smoke, advancing under cover of smoke, etc.), which results in reduced tactical options and gameplay. I could also not research the coil gun or the electromagnetic rifle, again removing a tactical option to make the game more challenging.

In D:OS I suppose I could not hire any companions or henchmen, removing the tactical options brought by a bigger party. I could also not use higher-tier gear instead of thinking "If I put this strength+, intelligence+ gear on this guy, he could suddenly use both warrior and mage heals and become a better healer than my current acting healer, freeing the acting healer to do this-and-this." But in my opinion I might just as well not even play the game if I have to start meta-gaming to keep it interesting.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Jacob Marner] #521099
16/07/14 05:01 PM
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It's just not the same if I have to decide to handicap myself to make the game challenging. I prefer the harder difficulties being a call to rise to the challenge. Take a look at games like xcom, a lot of the fun of playing "impossible" is a common understanding of the difficulty on that setting.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Jacob Marner] #521129
16/07/14 05:39 PM
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I agree with the original poster. Balancing would take away some of the fun of playing the game.

Perhaps there are some amazing players here, or maybe players claiming to be amazing, but it is certainly not my experience. I have just gone to Silverglen and hit level 10 shortly after. BUT, I skipped the final fight in Cyseal, opting to come back for it later, because I was getting positively slaughtered right out the gate.

It could be my particular party is not a candidate for being Over Powered, even with the various traits. Perhaps that is why the fight is difficult. Or perhaps the game is appropriately difficult for most regular players?

Gimping the power available to player characters would only serve to ruin the experience and ability to enjoy the game for folks like me, and apparently most of the gaming press - who all describe the game as being difficult, even punishingly so.

Seems like this is the sort of thing Larian should put up to a community vote - counting only votes from those who paid for the game smile BEFORE they try adjusting anything.

Last edited by Halcyon; 16/07/14 05:41 PM.
Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Halcyon] #521136
16/07/14 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted By: Halcyon
I have just gone to Silverglen and hit level 10 shortly after


Congratulations, you've experienced the only part of the game that has any semblence of reasonable difficulty/balance. The game never gets harder after Cyseal, it only gets easier. It gets easier in every single way possible.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Tyhan] #521144
16/07/14 05:52 PM
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Halcyon Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tyhan
Originally Posted By: Halcyon
I have just gone to Silverglen and hit level 10 shortly after


Congratulations, you've experienced the only part of the game that has any semblence of reasonable difficulty/balance. The game never gets harder after Cyseal, it only gets easier. It gets easier in every single way possible.


I guess I will have to wait and see, but if true - then obviously I may have to retract my statements. smile

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Jacob Marner] #521150
16/07/14 06:01 PM
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I see no reason the question has to be so divisive...isn't this why we have normal and hard modes...? Can't the answer be, sure make things balanced in hard mode at least. There you can cap healing, lower resists, etc...

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Jacob Marner] #521153
16/07/14 06:02 PM
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Since we are giving examples, people do "gimp" themselves to have fun and challenge themselves. For Legend of Zelda, there are people who do 3 heart challenges. For Resident Evil 4, there was one person who posted a guide where you aren't allowed to use a single gun. The only weapons allowed were the knife and grenades. For Diablo 2, I did a challenge as sorceress where I used nothing but Icebolt (for Normal difficulty) and Charged Bolt (for Nightmare difficulty because the enemies regen their health too fast for Icebolt to work)

In real life, when you've plateaued on a jogging route, you ramp up the challenge by "gimping" yourself, trying to finish it in less time, giving yourself less rest breaks, adding distance by retracing your path, etc. You don't go demanding to city hall to retweak the sidewalk so that it's more challenging for you.

It's one thing to actually rebalance, changing some numbers, but it's another thing to ask the devs to tear down the games, create new mechanics just so you feel more challenged.

Re: Balancing - do we really need it? [Re: Jacob Marner] #521157
16/07/14 06:04 PM
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There is nothing wrong with Leech being an effective talent. The trouble is it's disproportionately powerful compared to many others. Why would I take a talent like Sidestep that gives a meager 10% chance to evade when I can choose to simply out-heal enemy attacks with Leech? Also with the recent patch preventing the seller of secrets from selling multiple stat/skill books it is clear that Larian does indeed care about balance, otherwise they would have let it be.


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