What is TRS' theory of game balance?


#1

When balancing a game, there are several avenues to take with regard to game balance. Each one results in a very different game over time. I’m hoping to highlight three different theories I’ve seen in very successful games and get an answer to how the devs plan to approach the issue.

  1. Continuous patches and sweeping changes. League of Legends is particularly known for this. Riots patches can massively effect the metagame of LoL and buffs/nerfs to champions consistently bring them in and out of the pool of competitive play. The game is constantly being tweaked around what the community sees, and changes are frequent.

  2. Regular patches and minor changes. This theory is a bit more how Valve/IceFrog balance Dota 2. Patches are fairly regular (every couple of months) but changes are generally very minor. Changes can of-course remove heroes from the competitive set, but that isn’t always the case. Furthermore, the game is generally balanced around the very highest levels of play rather than what the community at large would like.

  3. Never change the game, let the metagame Evolve (heh heh) naturally. At first this seems entirely counter-intuitive, especially in a time when developers seem to pander to the lowest common denominator with constant patches and updates. However, this theory is not without merit or precedent. Super Smash Bros. Meele in particular has never been changed or balanced. However, based on this graph it’s clear that character tiers have shifted regularly over the life of the game. Dedicated players will figure out strategies to counter what may have previously been deemed “OP”.

I only ask because despite the game not even being released there are already cries of “OP”. I saw a player just yesterday play against Abe a single time and deem the Hunter “OP”. Kraken has already been changed based on feedback from the Alpha. Certainly reacting to community feedback is a good thing, although I do tend to wonder whether it was in-fact too soon? Did players really play enough games against the Alpha and have the time and experience necessary to change their tactics and adapt to the new monster enough to deem it “OP”. I want to make it clear that I’m not criticizing - I couldn’t be more hyped for this game - I’d just like to know where this ride is going to take me.

So - TRS, what’s the plan? Evolve community, what direction would you like to see the game go in?


#2

Without many words.

League of legends patches:Nerf current heroes that people think are OP and buff heroes that ain’t picked.

Dota patches.Keep the thing that is OP in this hero but slightly nerf one other stat on him.

Bottom line i hope the balance changes are following the Dota ones.Dota likes to keep his heroes OP.Everyone is OP.Everyone has 1 or two skills that are ridicusly OP but icefrog keeps them like that.Instead he will very slightly nerf his third skill while keeping his OPiness in the same level.

And to be true his balance works much better than Riots.In LoL championship we see something like 30 heroes picked while in Dota Championship we see 100 heroes picked.


#3

well regarding the kraken nerf. it was not so much the damage but the ability to dodge. lightning strike on PC was too easy to land no matter what the hunters tried. which is unfair since it does the most damage. then the big alpha came and visually you would be no where close to the vortex and still take the full damage. so they nerfed its hitbox range.

to me these are more UI related than direct nerfs. the only nerfs I know of were the elite wildlife perks and the % of what selected perks did. as they were too high. 100% cdr for a 2 meat easy kill was way too good. so they nerfed it to 50.

I like the league style but I dont think this game needs it that way. dota’s style would be better. i have a feeling elite perks and perks will be the focal point. not so much the monsters damage or hp.


#4

This thread might help you understand what the devs are aiming to do with balance. Might want to just look at MacMans posts since it is very long!

Short version, they are aiming for a 50/50 winrate. They have a comprehensive telemetry system to help them do this. This should allow them to target the source of unbalanced winrates.


#5

That telemetry thread is great! I read through the whole thing. There’s a lot of great insights as-to how they’re approaching it. However, there are a lot of ways to go about achieving that 50/50 win-rate. You can do it with massive swings on either side, or minute changes. You can do them often, or not very often. That’s the question I’m looking to answer - I hope that makes sense.


#6

Games is looking more for ‘how’ they will proceed with changes. I.E. Fast and quick silent nerfs. Big large patches that almost certainly change the Meta etc…


#7

Fair enough. That one we have no idea about as far as I know.