Top 5 PVP Design Flaws – TaugVlog Ep. 3


I discuss my top 5 design flaws for PVP combat of MMORPGs.

In reverse order, they are…drum roll please…

#5: 50% healing debuffs

E.g. Mortal Strike for pre-Cataclysm Arms Warrior in WoW. When 50% healing debuffs are part of a game, healing is stupidly easy when opponents don’t have the debuff, but healing is stupidly hard (and inefficient) when opponents do have the debuff. As Blizzard figured out by Cataclysm, the better solution is to reduce the effectiveness of healing debuffs and healing and mana regen together, as this leads to improved balance and better gameplay.

#4: Asymmetrical damage scaling

E.g. Bright Wizard’s Combustion mechanic in WAR. Combustion caused a BW’s burst and sustained damage to ramp up significantly and scale with gear, whereas the downside (explosion backlash damage) was fixed. Therefore, the benefit greatly outweighed the downside.

#3: Asymmetrical CC

Relative to your opponent, this is having too much chained CC capability (e.g. stunlocking, chain-fearing) or having too much CC immunity (e.g. RIFT Pyro Mage’s Ground of Strength indefinite CC immunity).

#2: Overpowered passive procs

E.g. Lingering Wounds, Vampiric Munitions, and Fell Blades from RIFT. Strong debuffs or effects should be tied to an ability with a meaningfully long cooldown, or there is no thought needed on the part of the player, and the result is skill-less PVP.

#1: World PVP based on 2 factions

This is too fragile when there are population imbalances, which tend to further increase the imbalance over time because the winning side gains PVP rewards faster than the losing side. See SWTOR on any PVP server.

I’m sure that I missed other design flaws (e.g. gear dictating outcomes, etc) that chap your hide, so let me know which ones I’ve missed and what you think of my list above.

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Posted in Game Design, PVP, RIFT, SWTOR, Video, Vlog, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft
107 comments on “Top 5 PVP Design Flaws – TaugVlog Ep. 3
  1. Chad Jacquay says:

    Another design flaw is Racials. While not ‘game breaking’ they are never balanced and make one faction have a slight advantage. Even with Mirrored racials it makes one race slightly better for one class or another.

    To add to your CC flaw, its a horrible design flaw when some classes do not share DRs. It makes certain class combos even harder to play against.

    • taugrim says:

      Chad Jacquay :

      Another design flaw is Racials. While not ‘game breaking’ they are never balanced and make one faction have a slight advantage. Even with Mirrored racials it makes one race slightly better for one class or another.

      To add to your CC flaw, its a horrible design flaw when some classes do not share DRs. It makes certain class combos even harder to play against.

      Agree with you on both points.

      I thought SWTOR came up with a slick implementation (Resolve) to address the latter point about shared DR. But now playing GW2 in Beta I realize the better option is to have CC be short-duration by nature, and allowing players to choose to spec or not spec into CC breakers and immunity.

  2. Chad Jacquay says:

    Agree with you on both points.
    I thought SWTOR came up with a slick implementation (Resolve) to address the latter point about shared DR. But now playing GW2 in Beta I realize the better option is to have CC be short-duration by nature, and allowing players to choose to spec or not spec into CC breakers and immunity.

    Including the IWIN Mesmser Elite? ;p

    • Chad Jacquay says:

      Well, that Quote didn’t seem to work well…

      • EucridEucrow says:

        He has cited Moa as being “op” and “Iwin” on several occasions. I assume you know this and are just poking fun :).

        • taugrim says:

          EucridEucrow :

          He has cited Moa as being “op” and “Iwin” on several occasions. I assume you know this and are just poking fun :) .

          Yep.

          I’m surprised Moa Morph survived through BWE3 – it just seems to go counter to AN’s philosophy of not having overly-long CCs.

  3. I loved the long(er) time to kill in SWTOR compared to Rift most of all, but WoW as well. They all have issues with gear scaling. WTB Taugrim’s horizontal scaling model.

    There’s a huge debate happening on the WoW official forums about spells having separate coefficients for PvE vs. PvP the way WAR was. I’d love to see that in more games as a reasonable way to continually balance classes and specs without the roller coaster ride of “oh crap, I guess this was OP in PvP, now I have to change specs if I want to raid.”

    • It’s funny that you mentioned “long(er) time to kill in SWTOR”, because I recall the most frustrating part of PvP was to get KD-ed by an invisible agent or smuggler who then proceeded to obliterate me within a few seconds and disappear before my teammates attempt revenge. At least WoW had a paper-scissors-rock PvP model.

    • taugrim says:

      Michael White (@theWhitestMike) :

      I loved the long(er) time to kill in SWTOR compared to Rift most of all, but WoW as well. They all have issues with gear scaling. WTB Taugrim’s horizontal scaling model.

      Miiiiiiiiiike!!!

      Yo dude, still think it’s hilarious that we played Empire in Huttball back at New York Comic Con 2011.

      Michael White (@theWhitestMike) :

      There’s a huge debate happening on the WoW official forums about spells having separate coefficients for PvE vs. PvP the way WAR was. I’d love to see that in more games as a reasonable way to continually balance classes and specs without the roller coaster ride of “oh crap, I guess this was OP in PvP, now I have to change specs if I want to raid.”

      Yea I agree with this. It wouldn’t be hard to set this up from a software perspective, but it would require some iteration to get the balance right in PVE and in PVP. But mid-to-long term it would be totally worth it.

      One of the things that sucks is to have changes for PVE impact PVP or vice versa.

  4. Zach Wallace (pG_Crescens) says:

    Personally with any competitive game / pvp model, I find an imbalance of class mechanic complexity is a serious flaw.

    I’ll give an example using fighting games like Street fighter and MMO’s like Guild Wars 2. So by complexity I mean in the class/character’s moves and skills. A Warrior in GW2 for the most part will only ever be dealing with 16 skills at once in competitive pvp unless they take banners(2 weapon swaps = 10 skills, 5 utility 1 adrenaline).

    What this do is both good and bad. On the one hand it creates a class that is fairly easy to pick up and understand but in the same breathe it makes a class that has to work way less than others to achieve the same goal. In street fighter this is like comparing a Ryu player to a Gen play. Gen has almost twice to three times the move list of Ryu and has to use them all to be just as effective as a Ryu player with half the moves.

    In Guild Wars 2 its like comparing a Warrior to an Engineer. If the Engineer uses multiple kits, which is strong in sPvP, They have to manage swapping up to 4 1-5 skills(weapon, bomb kit, med kit, flamethrower), activate those kits with 6-8, their skill 9 utility, their elite, and the 4 F1-F4 keys. Doing this means they have to manage way more cooldowns than a warrior for the same effect, say damage build.

    So in the end what happens is you have more people playing Warriors(Ryu) than Engineers(Gen) based purely on class mechanic complexity

    P.s This is in no way me complain that Engineers are too hard, I plan to main one for sPvp.

    • I agree with this to an extent, but I think that skill ceiling matters more to competitive play than skill floor. I don’t have a street fighter example, but in MOBAs like Leeg and dota, there are always the pub stomp heroes vs the competitive team play heroes.

      Unfortunately alot of balance revolves around game type. Balance for Arena play is different than balance in objective maps. I’m pleased that GW2 is going Objective based play because I think you can mask imbalances easier. Sadly I don’t think they should have 8v8 and 5v5 modes.

      • Zach Wallace (pG_Crescens) says:

        I agree but you can make a game have competitive depth without necessarily having a higher skill floor(which is what i was talking about). Sorry for the Street fighter examples but I know them well, In SF understanding strategy and what to do against other characters etc that is the competitive depth, not making someone who knows those ideas work twice as hard i.e doubling the amount of skill management.

    • But in the end, people will always prefer a certain play-style and a surprising amount of people (me included) enjoy using professions/classes/fighters/champions/etc. that have a high skill ceiling but feel much more rewarding to achieve a victory with.

      Like in League of Legends, Ezreal is one of the hardest ranged AD/AP carries to play, due to the nature of his skill set (basically have to aim your shots). However there are people who gravitate towards a champion like Ezreal, simply because it will feel more rewarding to outplay someone who uses a champion that can do pretty much the same amount of damage, but with half the effort…

      • Zach Wallace (pG_Crescens) says:

        Yea it is all player preference. But i feel like people will pick the best simple styles over equally as good harder play stuff. Use your Ezrael example if there was an identical champion but instead of skill shots the exact same skills always hit what you targeted. Then for competition sake why would you ever pick skill shot ez over the out hit one. Thats how i feel some of these character complexity imbalances hurt the population mixture in structured pvp

      • taugrim says:

        Master10K (@Master10K) :

        But in the end, people will always prefer a certain play-style and a surprising amount of people (me included) enjoy using professions/classes/fighters/champions/etc. that have a high skill ceiling but feel much more rewarding to achieve a victory with.

        Indeed.

        To add to this, when I played Swordmaster in WAR I thought I wouldn’t like the balance mechanic, which was basically tiered skill chaining:
        Tier 1 -> Tier 2 -> Tier 3

        You had to sequence abilities in tiers to get to T3, which tended to be the most powerful effects.

        It took a while to get used to but after that it did really feel like a sword dance – you had to plan out your attacks in advance to have the T3 you needed when you wanted it.

    • Picpoc says:

      That all depends on how you want to play each class. There are very effective Engineer builds that don’t use any kits. In those cases they have even less cooldowns than a warrior (14 vs 16). Doesn’t mean one is easier to play than another.

      It also doesn’t mean that an engineer that chooses to use 3-4 kits needs to use all four in a single fight to beat a warrior or match their DPS. They may only need 1 or 2 but then they have the flexibility to handle other classes and situations.

    • taugrim says:

      Zach Wallace (pG_Crescens) :

      Personally with any competitive game / pvp model, I find an imbalance of class mechanic complexity is a serious flaw.

      I get what you’re saying, but what is easy for you to manage in terms of a class mechanic may feel difficult, and vice versa.

      That said, there are classes that have more complex mechanics.

      Zach Wallace (pG_Crescens) :

      So in the end what happens is you have more people playing Warriors(Ryu) than Engineers(Gen) based purely on class mechanic complexity

      P.s This is in no way me complain that Engineers are too hard, I plan to main one for sPvp.

      People will play Ryu or Gen so long as its fun and viable IMO.

      • Zach Wallace (pG_Crescens) says:

        While I agree Taugrim, if you look at competitve Street fighter there are maybe 2 gen players and like 20ish ryu players, that is not just based on preference imo.

        what i do not wanna see in GW2 is 400 competitive Warriors, and like 20 Engi’s etc

  5. Davidnewski says:

    I don’t understand why SWTOR doesn’t have the same mechanics as WAR when it comes to CCs. It would make pvping more enjoyable and a bit more skill based.

    • taugrim says:

      Davidnewski :

      I don’t understand why SWTOR doesn’t have the same mechanics as WAR when it comes to CCs. It would make pvping more enjoyable and a bit more skill based.

      I’m a fan of the Resolve system, because it does work for the things it’s supposed to work against, and it’s a visible indicator that everyone can see.

      • Edon/Jedon says:

        The real problem is that swtor’s CC’s are too long in relation to the number & CD of the one CC breaker.

        • Shadowmouse says:

          What do you feel about roots neglecting the full resolve bar? I understand roots not filling resolve. I do get annoyed when I position myself to score in huttball and hen rooted by Marauder and take 2 steps rooted by jugg and dead with a white bar.

          • taugrim says:

            Shadowmouse :

            What do you feel about roots neglecting the full resolve bar? I understand roots not filling resolve. I do get annoyed when I position myself to score in huttball and hen rooted by Marauder and take 2 steps rooted by jugg and dead with a white bar.

            A lot of people don’t like the fact that roots and snares are not part of the Resolve system. I think the way it works now is fine.

            The reason is that some classes are heavily reliant on snares and roots to control gaps, especially for melee classes and classes that are highly not mobile, such as Gunslinger/Sniper.

            Also, I think that it adds another layer of complexity to the game. Target whitebarred? Your only option to limit what they can do is to root or snare, so save your CCs.

  6. tchalla says:

    Taugrim,

    Vlog topic suggestion:

    Top 3, 4, or 5 “must haves” when putting together a spec.

    Great job, keep it up.

    • taugrim says:

      tchalla :

      Taugrim,

      Vlog topic suggestion:

      Top 3, 4, or 5 “must haves” when putting together a spec.

      Great job, keep it up.

      Good suggestion, I’ll keep that in mind.

  7. Volmok says:

    Any comments on SWTOR going F2P in the fall? Do you think that they will make some breaking changes in the near future that could relaunch the game?

  8. Great list and thanks for editing down the video. DAOC had the 3 factions right, but they were extreme offenders of your #4 with point blank area of effect spells. As well as your #3, literally 1 CC could last 30-45 seconds.

    From your previous videos I was expecting something about vertical scaling which I agree is a problem because of the spiral you were talking about in the two faction issue.

    I’m interested in what of issues you see in gw2 so far. Access to healing debuff seems limited and its 33%, #5. Too early to tell but there is potential for many passive procs in the game with no cd for #2. I think we’ll see some type of balance issues with every class having ranged options and different levels of starting health and armor.

    • taugrim says:

      \
      Justin Fox (@BoxedFox) :

      From your previous videos I was expecting something about vertical scaling which I agree is a problem because of the spiral you were talking about in the two faction issue.

      I probably should have mentioned it in the video but I make that point so frequently.

      \
      Justin Fox (@BoxedFox) :

      I’m interested in what of issues you see in gw2 so far. Access to healing debuff seems limited and its 33%, #5. Too early to tell but there is potential for many passive procs in the game with no cd for #2. I think we’ll see some type of balance issues with every class having ranged options and different levels of starting health and armor.

      GW2 for the most part deftly avoids the 5 flaws I mentioned in this video, with a few exceptions (e.g. Mesmer’s Elite skill Moa Morph).

  9. Conwolv says:

    Rift recently released their 3 faction combat Conquest. You pick your faction at the time the match starts. It lasts about 1 to 1.5 hours per. Rift, like usual as of late has really dropped the ball on this. And I’d love to hear your thought on this, Taug, but I’ll go over my problems with it.

    1. Because you pick your faction before each match, players will always queue up for the faction that wins most often. This negates what makes 3 faction PVP so great. It also makes choosing a faction trivial. Personally I think that picking a faction should be meaningful in some way.

    2. It uses the Stillmoor Map, largely unmodified. This means that the map isn’t balanced for large-scale PVP. There are certain points that are important to winning that are simply easier for one faction to control. This causes the problem above to get even worse.

    3. Because of the issues you mentioned with Marksman Rogues, it’s extremely unfriendly to virtually anything but a Rogue spamming Fanout at 35 meters over and over again. All other ranged classes must get within the spamout range for 5 meters before they can do any kind of meaningful DPS. Forget being Melee, so Warriors are largely useless, having to respawn often (personally, I just stayed dead until rezzed or until force respawned soaking in Favor and Prestige).

    4. The rewards favor massive farm-fests over objectives. So often, the entire match will be one zerg trying to find the other zerg at a portal (Eye of Regulos or Caer Mathos) and farming them back and forth to get a ton of prestige and favor (allowing PVP ranks and gear to grow faster).

    5. No solo play. Since you can’t kill an extractor by yourself (not easily, and not worth the time), there’s not much for you to do as a solo player who wants to not follow the zerg running from location to location and capping objectives or farming.

    6. Objectives are boring. You’re literally running around capping these many points on the map, standing around for the timer to tick down and you capture it, and moving onto the next.

    I like that Rift is trying something new for their game, based on player feedback, but I really think Trion has no idea how to balance PVP. It’s literally the most spammy PVP I’ve ever seen.. couple it with really high stat bloat in PVP gear and there’s no meaningful choices. Conquest only magnifies these flaws.

    • It’s really said that from the time that I left Rift to now, Trion still hasn’t learnt it’s lessons when it comes to PvP.

      • Conwolv says:

        It’s because the people responsible for PVP balance in WAR are largely responsible for PVP balance in Rift (Gersh).

        They just don’t get what makes PVP balanced. They seem to be completely OK with Marksman rogues being the defaco class for CQ and doesn’t understand how to make CQ fair and balanced.

        I loved the game so much, but it’s progressively gotten worse in PVP since launch. A couple of points higher than others, but there was never a time that one class wasn’t obscenely overpowered compared to the rest.

    • taugrim says:

      Conwolv :

      Rift recently released their 3 faction combat Conquest. You pick your faction at the time the match starts. It lasts about 1 to 1.5 hours per. Rift, like usual as of late has really dropped the ball on this. And I’d love to hear your thought on this, Taug, but I’ll go over my problems with it.

      1. Because you pick your faction before each match, players will always queue up for the faction that wins most often. This negates what makes 3 faction PVP so great. It also makes choosing a faction trivial. Personally I think that picking a faction should be meaningful in some way.

      Wow that’s pathetic…

      Conwolv :

      2. It uses the Stillmoor Map, largely unmodified. This means that the map isn’t balanced for large-scale PVP. There are certain points that are important to winning that are simply easier for one faction to control. This causes the problem above to get even worse.

      Trion needs to create a map that is actually designed for PVP.

      Take the city map, scale it by 10x, for example.

      Conwolv :

      4. The rewards favor massive farm-fests over objectives. So often, the entire match will be one zerg trying to find the other zerg at a portal (Eye of Regulos or Caer Mathos) and farming them back and forth to get a ton of prestige and favor (allowing PVP ranks and gear to grow faster).

      Apparently they didn’t learn from WAR.

      Conwolv :

      5. No solo play. Since you can’t kill an extractor by yourself (not easily, and not worth the time), there’s not much for you to do as a solo player who wants to not follow the zerg running from location to location and capping objectives or farming.

      That’s too bad. Games are more fun when you can opt to solo, small group, or raid.

      Conwolv :

      6. Objectives are boring. You’re literally running around capping these many points on the map, standing around for the timer to tick down and you capture it, and moving onto the next.

      Again, they learned nothing from WAR. Having meaningless objectives feels meaningless.

      Conwolv :

      I like that Rift is trying something new for their game, based on player feedback, but I really think Trion has no idea how to balance PVP. It’s literally the most spammy PVP I’ve ever seen.. couple it with really high stat bloat in PVP gear and there’s no meaningful choices. Conquest only magnifies these flaws.

      Trion has great warfront map design, but the rest of the PVP implementation is very suspect.

      It’s the #1 reason I stopped playing.

  10. Irulan says:

    1. DESIGNATING A CLASS OR PROFESSION TO A SPECIFIC ROLE! I have no idea why so many mmo’s still hold to the old adage that you are either a tank, dps or healer. I know many of you agree but many games haven’t changed! They still copy from one another and sadly it is the bad stuff.

    2. What is wrong with PVP is PVE! There is so much in vestment is PVE that for many games PVP is an afterthought. Yet it is PVP that keeps the game fresh.

    • Gothmog says:

      PvE and PvP are only incompatible (requiring PvP specific stats, etc.) in games where PvE enemies are deliberately nerfed (ex., games like WoW where enemies are stupid and attack the “tank” even though he’s the lowest real threat there).

      As long as a game isn’t designed with that kind of artificial role and AI (the basis of the “holy trinity”), PvE and PvP are much easier to balance.

      The way GW2’s PvE works is very similar not only to its own PvP but also to other MMOs’ PvP. That makes the game easier to balance, makes it easier for players to jump from one mode to the other, and lets the developers create realistic AI for PvE enemies without fear of breaking some predetermined combat roles.

    • taugrim says:

      Irulan :

      2. What is wrong with PVP is PVE! There is so much in vestment is PVE that for many games PVP is an afterthought. Yet it is PVP that keeps the game fresh.

      Players have the perception that you can’t balance both PVP and PVE.

      My opinion as a software developer and product designer is you can, but you have to be intentional about it, from design to coding to testing.

  11. Serialnerd says:

    I’m surprised you did not have gear scaling as one of your top 5. IE In Rift R8 vs R1 gear where someone in a full set of R8 can easily take out 4-5 people in R1. I’m even seeing it now in SWTOR with recruit gear vs. fully augmented War Hero in the non-rated level 50 PvP games. The people who have the best gear will win regardless of skill.

  12. Aurum says:

    A big flaw being what you have talked about before, vertical gear scaling or progression. Since for some ppl it will be impossible to ever get that best gear. They might not have the time or the skill to ever get it witch makes the gap between players even bigger and unfair.

    Also like you to talk about any of those two topics you mentioned in the end of the video. I like these videos where you talk about stuff around the game even better then your gameplay ones! Keep up the good work..

    • taugrim says:

      Aurum :

      Also like you to talk about any of those two topics you mentioned in the end of the video. I like these videos where you talk about stuff around the game even better then your gameplay ones! Keep up the good work..

      Yes, I’m finding it rather odd and surprising that people would rather hear my perspective on various gaming topics than actual providing gameplay footage and guides.

      • Medicine Man says:

        I’m not too surprised. A lot of gamers are part munchkin to some extent. Noodling over strategies, builds, and so on, basically all of the metagame stuff, can be as much fun as playing the games sometimes. When you think about it, there is no topic as “meta” as discussing the design and balancing of the games themselves.

  13. Misaligned says:

    You already hinted at gear in the end of your post and I think GW2 is taking the right approach in making gear rewards cosmetic and not a determining factor in PvP.

    I would like to see mechanics like stun and fear go away. It’s very frustrating to completely lose control of your character. I’m ok with roots and snares. Silences can be ok if they don’t end up like Holy Paladins in WoW where a silence renders your character useless since all abilities rely on one school of magic.

    I would like to see more creative effects from CC, such as the full-screen effects used in Allods where the screen took on a prism effect. Add a drunken or haze effect where you are impaired but still have control of your character. Perhaps a confuse condition where your movement keys are temporarily reversed (left goes right, forward goes backward, etc). You are impaired but still maintain some control of your character.

    • taugrim says:

      Misaligned :

      I would like to see mechanics like stun and fear go away. It’s very frustrating to completely lose control of your character. I’m ok with roots and snares. Silences can be ok if they don’t end up like Holy Paladins in WoW where a silence renders your character useless since all abilities rely on one school of magic.

      Disabling CCs are fine so long as the duration is reasonably limited and players have the option to spec for or use cooldowns that provide CC breakers or immunity. See GW2.

      Misaligned :

      I would like to see more creative effects from CC, such as the full-screen effects used in Allods where the screen took on a prism effect. Add a drunken or haze effect where you are impaired but still have control of your character. Perhaps a confuse condition where your movement keys are temporarily reversed (left goes right, forward goes backward, etc). You are impaired but still maintain some control of your character.

      Yes, the blind effect in Allods Online was genius.

      • Edon/Jedon says:

        Or, to take it a step further, all of your key binds are randomized when you become ‘confused': not only would that be confusing, but let’s say you accidentally use up your longest CDs. That would present a strategic issue for players to contemplate (e.g. do I stand still to avoid risking putting my best abilities on cool down?). That’s much more compelling than the typical ‘roll the dice, if you roll a number > n, slap yourself in the face.’

  14. taugrim :
    Agree with you on both points.
    I thought SWTOR came up with a slick implementation (Resolve) to address the latter point about shared DR. But now playing GW2 in Beta I realize the better option is to have CC be short-duration by nature, and allowing players to choose to spec or not spec into CC breakers and immunity.

    It’s just a shame that there is one ridiculously overpowered skill that ruins the formula ArenaNet have made, when it comes to CC in GW2. The Mesmer Elite “Moa Morph”

    • Conwolv says:

      I get the feeling that’ll get nerfed at launch.

      • I hope it does, because a 10 second unbreakable CC is ridiculously OP. Heck, even the Thief’s 1-2 second Basilisk Venom is strong, but it feels like nothing compared to Moa Morph. How long do you feel it should last?

        I’m thinking Moa Morph should last either 4 or 5 seconds.

  15. Geldarion says:

    I dislike RNG PvP rewards. Or is this about mechanics? Anyway, it was an annoyance in the beginning of SWTOR.

    How about non-mirrored classes too lol? Lord of the Rings Online has two factions, the Free Peoples and the Creatures of Sauron. The former levels like in many other MMOs, 1-75. They can participate in PvP if they want, but they have to go to a specific zone. The Creatures of Sauron, however, are insta-leveled to 75, but they are completely disparate from the Free Peoples in design, and they are only for PvP, so all of their skills are balanced for that. Not only that, but they get most of their skills as they rank up through PvP.

    So rank 1-6, you are worthless and can’t fight anyone and win. Rank 7-11 you are pretty balanced, and 11-15 you are unbeatable 1v1. Really odd.

    • taugrim says:

      Geldarion :

      How about non-mirrored classes too lol? Lord of the Rings Online has two factions, the Free Peoples and the Creatures of Sauron. The former levels like in many other MMOs, 1-75. They can participate in PvP if they want, but they have to go to a specific zone. The Creatures of Sauron, however, are insta-leveled to 75, but they are completely disparate from the Free Peoples in design, and they are only for PvP, so all of their skills are balanced for that. Not only that, but they get most of their skills as they rank up through PvP.

      So rank 1-6, you are worthless and can’t fight anyone and win. Rank 7-11 you are pretty balanced, and 11-15 you are unbeatable 1v1. Really odd.

      Having different classes on the opposing factions is a huge mistake.

      It creates real and perceived imbalance.

      • Picpoc says:

        So you felt there was huge balance issues with WAR classes? Granted it was not perfect by any means (bright wizard mechanic at release, etc…) but I felt there were many other issues that contributed to WAR’s downfall than class balance.

        At least WAR had somewhat mirrored classes just with slight skill and mechanic differences. DAOC’s classes were all completely different and very few were mirrored. I’m sure there is some nostalgia coming through in saying this, but I always loved how different the 3 factions classes played in DAOC. Granted I didn’t play when some of the last expansion classes came out when I hear things started to get worse.

        • taugrim says:

          Picpoc :

          So you felt there was huge balance issues with WAR classes? Granted it was not perfect by any means (bright wizard mechanic at release, etc…) but I felt there were many other issues that contributed to WAR’s downfall than class balance.

          The thing people still rant about, almost 4 years later, is BW. People are still mad about class balance in WAR moreso than any other game in recent years.

          Picpoc :

          At least WAR had somewhat mirrored classes just with slight skill and mechanic differences. DAOC’s classes were all completely different and very few were mirrored. I’m sure there is some nostalgia coming through in saying this, but I always loved how different the 3 factions classes played in DAOC. Granted I didn’t play when some of the last expansion classes came out when I hear things started to get worse.

          Actually, there were some significant mechanics differences between mirrors. Remember Witch Elves and Witch Hunters? At launch, and for about 3 months or more after, WEs could stack 1 stat, but WH’s had to stack two. Made no sense.

          Lots of other examples, but things like that really stood out.

          • Conwolv says:

            Actually, there were some significant mechanics differences between mirrors. Remember Witch Elves and Witch Hunters? At launch, and for about 3 months or more after, WEs could stack 1 stat, but WH’s had to stack two. Made no sense.
            Lots of other examples, but things like that really stood out.

            This is why I like GW2’s attributes. There isn’t a complicated system of stats you need to learn for your class. Everyone uses the same stats and they do the same thing for everyone. No complicated stat based theory crafting, no odd misbalance issues (like rift’s Dex for Warriors).

            I only have one complaint about AN’s balance, the Mesmer Moa spell. They fix that, and it’s pretty much perfect.

          • Picpoc says:

            I guess I just had a different experience with WAR then. There were class issues for sure, but what doomed the game for me and my guild was the class bugs at release (skills that just flat out didn’t do what they said for almost every class, some didn’t do anything, etc…), limited-to-no end game content at release, and only having two factions in RvR leading to almost nothing but zerg keep trading.

            I played a squig herder and that class had so many issues and an identity crises, but still enjoyed it despite all the problems and imbalances (so hated getting white lion pulled!). All the other problems with the game (and our having first child) was ultimately what lead me to leave WAR, not the classes. I guess I feel class balance change is a never ending thing in every MMO…

            • Picpoc says:

              To add, I guess I felt class balance in Rift was way worse than WAR ever was :)

              • Conwolv says:

                Rift had a great idea in class customization with the souls. However, I think in terms of PVP and class balance, it’s been more than they can handle.

                Not to mention, with Adam Gershowitz in charge of class balance for a good portion of the game’s lifetime (not sure if he’s still in charge of this), it was doomed from the start.

  16. Having 2 faction in a PvP MMO is stupid. I totally agree I have sad this on different forums for the last 5 years.

  17. duras t says:

    u forgot to mention gear. u see it now in ToR where recruit geared players are stomped by war hero geared players with no chance of winning. happened in rift as well (rank 8 demolished rank 1s). if MMOs fix what u mentioned and the gear issues, we’d have one heck of a good MMO

  18. Joe says:

    There are design flaws for instanced/objective pvp maps. Mainly downtime for defenders. This creates an incentive(personal player incentive and not a team victiry one) for people to run around and fight off node or not defend.

    Games need to crete something active for people to do as defenders.

  19. Guano says:

    Wouldn´t that also mean that a Warrior would be “much” easier to “read” and counter?!

  20. EucridEucrow says:

    More visual references to the mechanics mentioned would help those not familiar with your examples. The “I Win” video was a good way to do this but you needed more stuff along those lines or maybe a simple graphic or screenshot to emphasize your bullet points. Part of your vid went out of sync with the audio but came back in eventually. Jump cuts are a bit jarring so perhaps you could smooth them over with some simple coverage like game-play or a graphic. I HATE wipes as a transition but even those are better than jump cuts and are a quick and dirty way to smooth transitions between cuts.

    A cool watch although I have absorbed most of this stuff from you by just following your content or streams. I now understand why you got disgusted with 1.5 in Rift though. ::phew:: What the fuck where they thinking?

    • taugrim says:

      EucridEucrow :

      More visual references to the mechanics mentioned would help those not familiar with your examples. The “I Win” video was a good way to do this but you needed more stuff along those lines or maybe a simple graphic or screenshot to emphasize your bullet points. Part of your vid went out of sync with the audio but came back in eventually. Jump cuts are a bit jarring so perhaps you could smooth them over with some simple coverage like game-play or a graphic. I HATE wipes as a transition but even those are better than jump cuts and are a quick and dirty way to smooth transitions between cuts.

      I have so little free time as it is – videos like this are a stretch – so what you are proposing I simply don’t have the capacity to do. Creating graphics, such as my keybinding diagram, take a lot of time to put together.

      EucridEucrow :

      A cool watch although I have absorbed most of this stuff from you by just following your content or streams. I now understand why you got disgusted with 1.5 in Rift though. ::phew:: What the fuck where they thinking?

      RIFT 1.5 and 1.6 were disastrous for PVP balance and design :(

  21. Ukiah says:

    Why is it I hear trumpets and angels whenever you tackle one of these subjects? :)

    • taugrim says:

      Ukiah :

      Why is it I hear trumpets and angels whenever you tackle one of these subjects? :)

      Did you fall and hit your head prior to clicking on the video play button?

  22. DH says:

    What about resilience/expertise? Any stat that requires the gear grind instead of skill, or diminishes the impact of skill in favour of whoever has put in the most hours.

    • Joe says:

      It also scales to much the further into tiers of gear you go. But I think he touched on it with verticle scaling gear

      • DH says:

        Expertise/resilience is separate from vertical scaling gear. You can have gear that is just better (slight improvements to base stats) that would still promote the gear grind (if that is your thing), but having a stat that is only for one type of gaming promotes the grinding and forces players who want to do both pvp and pve to have to grind twice as much.

        Games that focus on straight up skill would allow for players to use their gear for…well…playing and if they know HOW to play, they will excel.

  23. Serialnerd says:

    duras t :
    u forgot to mention gear. u see it now in ToR where recruit geared players are stomped by war hero geared players with no chance of winning. happened in rift as well (rank 8 demolished rank 1s). if MMOs fix what u mentioned and the gear issues, we’d have one heck of a good MMO

    That is what I said.

  24. Kaliss Darktide says:

    My big gripe that hasn’t been touched on yet is Area of Effect (AoE) abilities.

    1) It seems most AoE’s are designed with the idea of it being effective if it can hit 2 targets. This leads to a situation where single target abilities are of limited value in every multi target situation. Why would a player use a single target ability when they can do 80-90% of that damage to 5-10 targets? I’d like to see a situation where players are asked to evaluate the situation and decide if they should do moderate damage to a number of people or heavy damage to one target. In most games it feels like, heavy damage to one target or heavy damage to lots of targets or no real decision at all.

    2) Coming from a Free for All PvP background (Asheron’s Call, Dark Age of Camelot, and Shadowbane) I miss the days where AoE use, had to be calculated on how much harm they would do to friendlies as well as hostiles. Not accounting for the positioning of allies in large scale battles takes away from the tactical feel of large scale fights.

    Combined this current trend in AoE leads to using AoE whenever there are 2 hostile targets and requires no real decision making other than will this ability hit 2 targets. What I would like to see is:
    1) AoE toned down to 25-60% of max single target DPS which creates a situation where you need to make a choice: is it better to pressure multiple people or burn one down?
    2) Have AoE randomly determine between all possible target (friends, foes, pets etc.) but only resolve damage against hostile targets. So that casting an AoE into a large group of friendlies is less than ideal.

    The idea behind these changes is to make it so AoE use becomes a much more complex decision that requires better situational awareness and group positioning to master.

    • taugrim says:

      Kaliss Darktide :

      My big gripe that hasn’t been touched on yet is Area of Effect (AoE) abilities.

      The idea behind these changes is to make it so AoE use becomes a much more complex decision that requires better situational awareness and group positioning to master.

      I agree that AOE abilities should be designed such that the player has to make a meaningful decision, as opposed to “hey there are 2+ targets so I should AOE”.

      • Kaliss Darktide says:

        Not only that but a lot of AoEs have their place in single target rotations. To tie it back in to your video as a Marksman Rogue in Rift Fan Out did more damage single target against high armor targets (warriors, and tank spec rogues/clerics) because it was elemental damage as opposed to physical so any AoE damage was pure bonus.

  25. Georap says:

    Taugrim once again you hit the spot! Swtor f2p model is a hidden p2win, and why is that, the limitation for a f2p player to 20 warzones a week while a subscriber has unlimited access to warzones.
    This means, the f2p player will take hell long to gather his pvp gear to get a “fair” chance in pvp. No operations for the f2p player, again another limitation that shifts the scales with gear.
    In a gear based game putting limitation to access to that gears is like saying pay so you get a better chance! my 2cents

    • I’m curious to see if they let you do any ranked warzones on the f2p model.

      I think the cap on warzones and dungeons is fair to be honest. I’d imagine the majority of people who take advantage of the f2p option won’t even have the time to do more than that amount.

  26. Matthew says:

    Taugrim

    Very Nice Video

    Concerning SWTOR, what I don’t understand is why EA/MYTHIC/BIOWARE repeated the exact same error as they did WARHAMMER Online. You might recall one of the biggest problems with WAR was the serious population imbalance between Chaos and the Alliance, with Chaos having a (on average) 60:40 pop advantage. I remember people like you and some other magazine editors pointing out this was due to the 2 faction system of the game. Subscribers who rolled Alliance left in droves with months, fedup of being constantly smashed.

    The on the very next game they do (SWTOR)? Using pretty much the same design team they actually manage to repeat the exact same mistake from their previous game and found themselves in the same exact scenario as they were 2 years ago. Its simply amazing that these people didn’t learn from the mistake the first time around!

    • taugrim says:

      Matthew :

      Taugrim

      Very Nice Video

      Concerning SWTOR, what I don’t understand is why EA/MYTHIC/BIOWARE repeated the exact same error as they did WARHAMMER Online. You might recall one of the biggest problems with WAR was the serious population imbalance between Chaos and the Alliance, with Chaos having a (on average) 60:40 pop advantage. I remember people like you and some other magazine editors pointing out this was due to the 2 faction system of the game. Subscribers who rolled Alliance left in droves with months, fedup of being constantly smashed.

      The on the very next game they do (SWTOR)? Using pretty much the same design team they actually manage to repeat the exact same mistake from their previous game and found themselves in the same exact scenario as they were 2 years ago. Its simply amazing that these people didn’t learn from the mistake the first time around!

      Yea I can’t figure this one out either. As I wrote back in mid-December, per the Guild Pre-Launch Program it was well known that Empire was going to outnumber Republic on PVP servers by more than 2-to-1, based on the over 200k players who were registered in the program, and that’s a significant sample size.

      http://taugrim.com/2011/12/14/population-skewing-heavily-towards-empire-on-pvp-servers/

  27. Nathan Pyle says:

    Definitely agree with all of the points you brought up. These have all been sever pain points for me, especially the 2 faction open PvP which is why I’ve never gotten into competitive PvP in MMO’s after Dark Age of Camelot (God I miss that PvP even though the CC was a little OP).

    I really think developers need to start taking better note of player behavior when designing PvP combat. If there is an option with even just a slight edge the competitive player-base is typically going to pursue that option.

    Here’s hoping Arenanet had your same list of what NOT TO DO and successfully designed a PVP experience around these philosophies because second to two faction pvp frustrations is the inability to control my character (abusive CC).

    • taugrim says:

      Nathan Pyle :

      Definitely agree with all of the points you brought up. These have all been sever pain points for me, especially the 2 faction open PvP which is why I’ve never gotten into competitive PvP in MMO’s after Dark Age of Camelot (God I miss that PvP even though the CC was a little OP).

      I really think developers need to start taking better note of player behavior when designing PvP combat. If there is an option with even just a slight edge the competitive player-base is typically going to pursue that option.

      Yea I’d understand better if some of these problems were unique, but they are oft-repeated across games.

      Nathan Pyle :

      Here’s hoping Arenanet had your same list of what NOT TO DO and successfully designed a PVP experience around these philosophies because second to two faction pvp frustrations is the inability to control my character (abusive CC).

      AN has their head on straight. GW2 is going to be fine.

  28. Attic Lion says:

    I feel that all of your points are merely symptoms of larger issues. Issues that have their roots with the game designers themselves.

    There are a couple of developer practices that I feel are responsible for the vast majority of PvP issues. Possibly the most basic issue is one of design goals. Put simply, PvP requires far more tightly defined goals and much more rigourous system development and testing than PvE does. You simply cannot design a game to meet PvE design goals first and then expect those systems to translate well in PvP environments. Whereas the converse is not true because you can easily allow the computer to cheat and circumvent the restictions that keep players from one sidedly murdering each other in PvP.

    There are some other issues I believe, like far too many game designers actually have no bloody training in designing systems like they should and the apparant belief that ‘balance’ is some sort of mythical creature to chase instead of a state of relationships between game systems. But this habit of designing games backwards is probably the largest sacred cow that needs to be salughtered.

    Additionally I’d like to make a point about point #1 on your list. Personally, I cannot fathom any reason for providing a 2 faction system in any (non-sandbox) MMO. Beyond what it does to world PvP it also needlessly splits the playerbase apart in PvE games like WoW, RIFT, and SWOTR for little to no gain.

    What did the faction splits get them? A lore justification for PvP? At the cost of needing to produce twice as much leveling content as they would have to create otherwise? I can’t follow the logic.

    • taugrim says:

      Attic Lion :

      There are a couple of developer practices that I feel are responsible for the vast majority of PvP issues. Possibly the most basic issue is one of design goals. Put simply, PvP requires far more tightly defined goals and much more rigourous system development and testing than PvE does. You simply cannot design a game to meet PvE design goals first and then expect those systems to translate well in PvP environments. Whereas the converse is not true because you can easily allow the computer to cheat and circumvent the restictions that keep players from one sidedly murdering each other in PvP.

      Most games do probably start with PVE design before PVP.

      As a software developer / architect who has built complex systems, you *can* design for two different environments for functionality, but it requires intent and commitment through the design, coding, and testing process. Real rigor.

      Attic Lion :

      There are some other issues I believe, like far too many game designers actually have no bloody training in designing systems like they should and the apparant belief that ‘balance’ is some sort of mythical creature to chase instead of a state of relationships between game systems. But this habit of designing games backwards is probably the largest sacred cow that needs to be salughtered.

      The developers I have talked to across companies are very bright people.

      The issue IMO isn’t the individuals themselves. It’s the complex interaction of teams and systems that come together.

      Are the class balance designers, combat designers, map designers, itemization designers, coders, testers, etc aligned in terms of how things are supposed to work?

      If there is misalignment, the cracks show.

      • Attic Lion says:

        taugrim :
        Most games do probably start with PVE design before PVP.
        As a software developer / architect who has built complex systems, you *can* design for two different environments for functionality, but it requires intent and commitment through the design, coding, and testing process. Real rigor.

        Okay, so I should have put less stress on the “can’t,” but with the hotbar ability spam combat we have in most MMOs it’s a tall order to set PvE goals, design classes and abilities specifically to meet those goals, then then flipping the PvP switch and hoping it won’t be an utter train wreck that has to be redone from the ground up.

        Which is what seems to happen again and again and again. Whether it’s due to a lack of serious testing or due to a lack of practical metagame knowledge or something else I honestly can’t say. It probably varies from game to game and team to team.

        The developers I have talked to across companies are very bright people.
        The issue IMO isn’t the individuals themselves. It’s the complex interaction of teams and systems that come together.
        Are the class balance designers, combat designers, map designers, itemization designers, coders, testers, etc aligned in terms of how things are supposed to work?
        If there is misalignment, the cracks show.

        I never meant to imply that developers are stupid. But everything I hear about the games industry tells me that advancement to design come from working your way up the ladder from other departments like Q&A and getting largely in-house training along the way. That’s really no proper substitute for a degree in my eyes.

        Perhaps I am judging people I have never met too harshly. I can only extrapolate and guess at what is occurring based on what I see and what I hear. Perhaps I am flat out wrong. Perhaps all of the above.

        However…

        Since the event is still fresh in my mind, I am reminded of the SWTOR devs and their bloody ‘metrics’ that called for sucking all the enjoyment out of healing in that game. That’s the kind of act I associate with someone who can a) read statistical information, b) has a finite amount of resources to leverage, and c) completely forgot that the game is damn near pointless if players aren’t having fun with it.

        Not being able to see the forest for the trees typifies my experience with engineers who don’t know what they’re doing, usually fresh graduates with no experience. But since the idea of someone with no experience making high level design decisions contradicts everything I’ve ever heard about the way the game industry works I have to default to ‘poorly trained.’

        It’s the only straw I can grasp at beyond purposeful sabotage or developers lying to my face, and I chose to believe neither of those whenever possible because only madness and misery lies that way.

  29. jericho says:

    Justin Fox (@BoxedFox) :
    Sadly I don’t think they should have 8v8 and 5v5 modes.

    I’d love to know more on your feelings (and Taugrim’s) about this. Personally I felt that 5v5 was just the right mark for sPvP, but I had a lot of fun doing pug 8v8. My issues with the pug system are more in the implementation of the system rather than the 8v8 numbers.

    • What I meant by that is I don’t think Anet should be splitting their focus with 2 modes, 16 player and 10 players. Its just such a huge difference. Balancing the npcs, the map layout, the builds and strategies will be unlikely. Most people will experience spvp as 8v8 with the barrier of entry for 5v5. Yet they should be most concerned about balance in 5v5 due to tournaments. People want to emulate the pros, but the pros are effectively playing a different game. I don’t think it’ll be healthy for sPvP in the long run.

      • Ozmosis says:

        They’ve said that the 8v8 mode is for way more casual play. They’re designing everything for 5v5 but if the casual pug groups were that small one player jumping in to get their feet wet who has no idea what’s going on is way too big of a handicap for their team. So they bumped up the cap a little so that one or two incompetent players will not completely kill a teams chances for winning.

        • I’m ok with having a casual game type, my main point is there needs to be another mode that more closely resembles competitive play. Another 5v5 mode that isn’t tournament. Right now 8v8 drop in drop out sucks. Guilds renting 5v5 servers I guess is the current solution. I don’t see anyone being happy with 8v8 one month after launch.

      • jericho says:

        You do not believe that they will ignore balance in the 8v8 “practice” games and focus their balance efforts into tournament play? I really do not feel that there is enough “service” and “ease of play” that has gone into the 8v8 system that shows me that they care enough about it.

  30. Ahh Lingering Wounds…. ParaChamp all the way baby! But honestly, skills like that hamstring the player playing the class too. You HAD to take Lingering Wounds, it was that good and it was masking how powerful healing was.

    • taugrim says:

      Rich (@Dashel27) :

      Ahh Lingering Wounds…. ParaChamp all the way baby! But honestly, skills like that hamstring the player playing the class too. You HAD to take Lingering Wounds, it was that good and it was masking how powerful healing was.

      Yup.

      That was how a lot of Warriors felt in Arena for 3.5 years of TBC through WotLK – they had to spec Arms and take Mortal Strike.

      Limited choice = teh suck

  31. B says:

    I haven’t seen this done in other games, but The Secret World has one of the worst mechanics I’ve encountered in an MMO.

    Controlling zones/nodes in PVP grants a faction wide buff to players based upon how many they have. On my server, the templar faction has had this buff non-stop for what feels like forever. The stats granted from this buff at full capacity are almost equal to giving a player 3 additional pieces of “minor” secondary stat gear to wear.

    This has even affected the PvE population on my server now, as PvE players on the losing factions have started rerolling over to this faction since they are able to stack greater amounts of other secondary stats in lieu of the ones granted by the PvP buff. While this doesn’t seem like it would be too big of a deal thanks to every faction being able to group up with other factions for PvE content, I’m starting to worry that I’m not too far away from seeing “LF2M DPS for NM modes, dominant faction only” in game.

  32. Shadow says:

    Hi did you play Knight online? If so was your character name 411? :)

    Don’t agree with you that 2 faction is worse, but it all is about how it is designed, if you have goal PVP like WOW and so yes then its bad, they will get the raid or whatever, but if you manage to do PVP that is fun just PVP.ing not for getting gear or so then its better with 2 fraction instead of 0 like AOC had.

    Hope GW2 manage what KO did wee you simple went to kill the enemy because it was fun and even if your outnumbered you can scout around for smaller groups to kill and run :)

    • Conwolv says:

      How would you design 2 faction PVP to make it better? How would you keep faction imbalance from being a problem? I don’t think it can be done. 3 faction helps mitigate the problem and largely makes the issue non-existent. I don’t think removing the goals from PVP would fix that. Just make it slightly less obvious and would make PVP far more boring for many.

      • Shadow says:

        If groups that are well played can survive against more enemy’s it works, but 0 faction is worse then 2.

        Ok Taugrim would have been fun if you been 411, he was a ledgent on Diez and the hole guild Blood.

    • taugrim says:

      Shadow :

      Hi did you play Knight online? If so was your character name 411? :)

      I played KO back in 2005-2006 on Beramus, and my Rogue-Archer’s name was Taugrim.

  33. JW says:

    Curious as to your and other avid sPvPers opinions and thoughts on GW2’s WvW. I’d love to see a blog on that.

    • taugrim says:

      JW :

      Curious as to your and other avid sPvPers opinions and thoughts on GW2′s WvW. I’d love to see a blog on that.

      That’s a long question, but in short, I think the WvW system is awesome.

      Here’s why:
      1. the ladder system over time will ensure that a given server is paired up with two other server opponents that makes sense
      2. the WvW zones are huge and have meaningful objectives to fight over
      3. it’s a persistent world that lasts 2 weeks, so what each server does matters

  34. Hasani Davis says:

    gotta say I agree with you on all points man.
    KInda starting to laugh as I have played with you now same faction same server across 2 games now.
    I always figured you were older since we both always try to crunch numbers to make sense of a game…. and get flamed for it.

    I guess I will see you in GW2, and I will come by more to support your blog sir.
    keep up the good work.

    • taugrim says:

      Hasani Davis :

      gotta say I agree with you on all points man.
      KInda starting to laugh as I have played with you now same faction same server across 2 games now.
      I always figured you were older since we both always try to crunch numbers to make sense of a game…. and get flamed for it.

      I may be older than I look :D

      I’m not a hardcore math guy for games, but you have to do some number crunching or it’s hard to tell how effective various abilities are in terms of throughput for DPS or healing.

  35. [...] sich bereits ein Blogger(Taugrimm, hier) gegen hohe Healdebuffs ausgesprochen hatte, hier meine theoretischen Überlegungen zu Healdebuffs [...]

  36. Brett says:

    Sorry I am late to the conversation…

    I do agree with your points- especially the 2 faction pvp. My friends and I have been wondering when another viable 3 realm game would come out ever since we stopped playing DAoC. Hopefully GW2 and ESO will do well.

    One thing that I think you might be able to add to the list of PvP fail points is “must have” classes. Taking DAoC as an example, any group that wanted to compete in RvR had to have 4 (or 5 if you were in Albion) classes in your 8 man group to cover skills that were necessary. If your group did not have these classes, your PvP experience was utterly doomed unless you just ran with the zerg, which (imo) is a fail in and of itself.

    Every group had to have:
    1 CC class
    1 Speed class
    1 buff class
    2 healers
    1 endurance regen class

    Now, some classes could cover two of these essentials (i.e. Bard was CC and Speed and Endo Regen) but it didn’t leave much room for other classes that didn’t do any of the things on this list. Usually, the rest of the group was rounded out with DPS. More often than not, rogue classes were left out of this group dynamic all together because the general feeling was that they just didn’t bring enough utility to the table.

    It seems that newer games are getting away from this idea to a certain extent but in games where certain classes are a requirement- it is very restrictive when making up a group. If you have a dedicated group that is going to play one of these games- what happens when nobody wants to play one of the required classes? You have 3 choices:
    1- someone sucks it up and plays a class they don’t want to play and the rest of the group endures months or even years of “Gah… I hate being the Paladin… this suuuuuuuux”.
    2- you recruit someone to play the lame (but necessary) class. Hopefully they aren’t terrible and (more importantly) don’t have a voice like Fran Drescher.
    3- you attempt to run a group without the class. Lolz.

    • taugrim says:

      Brett :

      I do agree with your points- especially the 2 faction pvp. My friends and I have been wondering when another viable 3 realm game would come out ever since we stopped playing DAoC. Hopefully GW2 and ESO will do well.

      ESO is 3-realm? Cool :)

      Brett :

      One thing that I think you might be able to add to the list of PvP fail points is “must have” classes. Taking DAoC as an example, any group that wanted to compete in RvR had to have 4 (or 5 if you were in Albion) classes in your 8 man group to cover skills that were necessary. If your group did not have these classes, your PvP experience was utterly doomed unless you just ran with the zerg, which (imo) is a fail in and of itself.

      Every group had to have:
      1 CC class
      1 Speed class
      1 buff class
      2 healers
      1 endurance regen class

      Yea I’m not a big fan of forced class comps either. Roles are OK with me, so long as multiple classes can fill a role.

      The reason some games have had the “must have” class comps is simply poor game balance.

  37. taugrim says:

    I received the following comments from Getzwise in email, and he gave me the OK to share his comments with you here.

    ———————————————————

    I absolutely never care to make comments and so forth, but I felt you made such an astute, candid and informative detailing of the flaws that I felt compelled to say something. Twitter/facebook, especially because I hate them, didn’t seem like an appropriate medium for this. However, I will try to keep it brief.

    The painful truth here harkens to something I say EVERY time I speak about flawed game mechanics of any kind: You figure that literally ALL game designers are gamers themselves, how the fuck do they keep making the same mistakes over and over. One constantly has to beckon the age old saying, “WTF were they smoking when they put this shit in the game.” I think the pyro mage reference best exemplifies this. On a side note, I only played that game for the 2months after release, but at the time one if not the only counters to those were buff dispelling. One of my trademark builds was a shaman/inq hybrid, and I had many a good time devastating pyros by stripping their buff off them and turning them to dust.

    Im curious, did you ever play Aion? Its not really a game you could ever just have tried, so probably not. Regardless of the fact that it has flaws #1-4, its still been my main mmo since it came out; the good pvp is still worth it, and the fast paced style is what makes it appealing. However, my point is that I’ve tried on so many occasions to try and illustrate how all these problems are rampant throughout the game(s). I wanted it to be a surprise so I didn’t read the video description, when you got to #1 I said to myself, “I hope its about zergs!(aka faction/population imbalance)”; YES!

    The real problem isn’t the game, its the designers – the people – themselves. If you have a group of designers that are capable of making huge design flaws in the first place then its highly probable that they will be indefinitely incapable of fixing them later on; any attempted amendment might only contribute to the vicious cycle, or create problems of their own.

    I’ve been spending a great deal of time lately reviewing as much information about guild wars as possible: making different focus builds for almost all classes, watching pvp videos etc; more and more im falling in love with all the game has to offer.

    So if you ever make a follow up to this video, or a “what separates guild wars 2 pvp from others” – these refer more specifically to class balance(thats my forte) – these are my suggestions:
    -Latency: specifically discrepancy between client and server – on your screen you are 5m away, but the server registers as 8.
    -Hitboxes/skill range: this ties in with latency, especially for melee classes; its hard to use those 2-5m skills when the server actually says(but doesn’t) you’re at 6+. This becomes a much bigger problem when there is a huge disparity in range between melee and ranged skills.
    -Cooldown disparity: Assume that the full potential of any class is a product of what they can accomplish with all their skill sets and all their cooldowns – buffs, utilities, elites etc – One of the top reasons class imbalance occurs is when certain classes have either considerably less or considerably more time on the recharge of their full skill set than others. The other top reason:
    -Overly complicated and excessive stat variables: For example, the game I play separates character stats entirely between physical and caster stats. Each type has its own variable for dmg modifying, critical chance, critical modifying, resistance/avoidance stats -dodge etc-, mitigation, AND reduction on incoming crit chance/dmg. If you couple a complicated system like this with disparity in not only cooldown length, but the stat increases they grant, you manage to create highly undesirable class imbalance.
    (I wont even bother to mention healing)

    However, GW2 seems to have done a fantastic job in designing their way around these problems; I can’t wait!
    If you took the time to read, thank you.
    Have a great game.

  38. Cyric Renner says:

    He is right about the horrible imbalance in RIFT PVP unfortunately. Its gotten worst since this video was made with RB Warriors and Saboteur Rogues being right over the top. Hopefully things will be better in Storm Legion, but I am not optimistic. Its not to say RIFT isn’t a good game, it is. The PVE is great. No complaints.

    The two faction imbalance lacked one suggestion. Having NPC’s spawn and fight along the under populated side can sometimes help. It is better then Wintergrasp’s bolster attempt.

    • taugrim says:

      Cyric Renner :

      He is right about the horrible imbalance in RIFT PVP unfortunately. Its gotten worst since this video was made with RB Warriors and Saboteur Rogues being right over the top. Hopefully things will be better in Storm Legion, but I am not optimistic. Its not to say RIFT isn’t a good game, it is. The PVE is great. No complaints.

      RB Warriors and Saboteur Rogues are strong again? Sounds like Patch 1.0 again :D

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