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Instanced Dungeon Que SystemFollow

#1 Jan 08 2013 at 5:09 PM Rating: Default
The system where you put in your desired role and que, then keep playing until you get a message saying "Your party has been filled. Would you like to teleport to the dungeon?"

Sure, let me park my character somewhere safe and go do some group content. Then, a fun instanced dungeon run insues. At the end, it plops you back out wherever you were and you continue questing, crafting etc.

You know what's better than Level Sync? Just drop your level to any level you have previously attained and the game automatically levels your gear down and nerfs your abilites by some % (although they are all still available).

Ok, ok, not all MMO's have to be the same. But the best parts, that allow players to play with RL friends at any level, and casuals to access group content with very little time, are just way to good to leave out.

EDIT: See below for Xioe's link to the thread where Yoshi-P discusses the proposed Content Finder for FFXIV.

Edited, Jan 9th 2013 10:53am by SmashingtonWho
#2 Jan 08 2013 at 6:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that auto-grouping for instanced content is actually confirmed to be in the cards (in fact, it would work across worlds to improve results). Level sync is in too, but I'm not sure it's on a choose-your-own-level basis.

Edit: Ah, here we go. The Zam thread regarding the Playstation Blog interview where the Content Finder was brought up.
http://ffxiv.zam.com/forum.html?forum=152&mid=13394577236471366&h=50

Edited, Jan 8th 2013 7:29pm by Xoie
#3 Jan 08 2013 at 8:57 PM Rating: Decent
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SmashingtonWho wrote:
let me park my character somewhere safe and go do some group content. Then, a fun instanced dungeon run insues. At the end, it plops you back out wherever you were


And then next to no players will ever leave the main hub town. The entire world is dead, and parties, aside from game-made auto-matching cross-server groups, cease to exist in all but the rarest cases. I don't know why MMOs do this: it ensures a multiplayer experience no more expansive than Diablo or Mass Effect.

Why am I paying a monthly fee to que up on what are essentially pre-made small-group servers (i.e. instances)? Is that ~$15 per month being used to power the auction house? I'd like that "M" in MMORPG to mean something, I'd like the game to seem like a living world -- with people roving around it and interacting with one another and everything! -- it's why I was interested in this genre above others, after all.
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#4 Jan 08 2013 at 11:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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Not necessarily my preferred mechanics but they have their merit in the right time and place.

I'm not averse to games where you have to go to a physical place (e.g., a waiting room) to enter the instance, and during that time have only the company of other players, so long as there are things to do there. I think it does a lot more for the sense of community and vastness of the world while circumventing the problems of active party searching, which tends to be time consuming and boring.

I do generally like being able to scale down your own level, but I like for mechanics like these to have some sense of narrative presence. Even something as simple as labeling the menu option "Hold Back," is better than some feature which magically makes you weaker.
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#5bl1tzace, Posted: Jan 09 2013 at 7:37 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Level sync was a GREAT function in XI. But then again, it ruined the game in my opinion.
#6 Jan 09 2013 at 7:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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KaneKitty wrote:
SmashingtonWho wrote:
let me park my character somewhere safe and go do some group content. Then, a fun instanced dungeon run insues. At the end, it plops you back out wherever you were


And then next to no players will ever leave the main hub town. The entire world is dead, and parties, aside from game-made auto-matching cross-server groups, cease to exist in all but the rarest cases. I don't know why MMOs do this: it ensures a multiplayer experience no more expansive than Diablo or Mass Effect.


The only thing that ensures lame multi-player is poor development. If you don't design areas with events other than instanced dungeons that people will want to participate in, you won't lure people away from the main hubs.
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Its personal preference and all, but yes we need to educate WoW players that this is OUR game, these are Characters and not Toons. Time to beat that into them one at a time.
#7 Jan 09 2013 at 9:42 AM Rating: Excellent
Thank you very much Xioe! Thanks for digging that up, good news IMO. I hope it works fliudly.

Instanced dungeons and que systems do not keep people from exploring the world. The opposite is true. If I want to do party content, I do not need to limit my playtime to sticking around a single location that has the dungeon for my current level. I can que up and then explore randomly to my heart's content, which is exactly what I do.

The main reason I see that people do not explore the big open world is when it does not offer anything to find or do except grind mobs. A good game design will encourage players to explore by providing unique and creative incentives scattered throughout the world.
#8 Jan 09 2013 at 10:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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KaneKitty wrote:

And then next to no players will ever leave the main hub town. The entire world is dead, and parties, aside from game-made auto-matching cross-server groups, cease to exist in all but the rarest cases. I don't know why MMOs do this: it ensures a multiplayer experience no more expansive than Diablo or Mass Effect.


People will gather in hub towns no matter what - it happened in XI and it will happen here too. It's just a convenient and safe place to do business, chat, check out what people are selling, or wait for a group.

The alternative is server only parties manually created and job elitism ala FFXI. People flagging up for hours. People not able to get into groups because there's not enough players willing to take the time to /sea all and invite. Groups being slow to come together because the leader only wants to put together a perfect party and that PUP or whatever the equivelent ends up being is not wanted. Waiting for a bard. Waiting for a tank on your server when there's one ready to go on another server but you can't see her.

The arguments for and against have been made ad naseum for every mmo since its inception, and the answer always ends up the same. The benefits just plain outweigh the perceived consequences.
#9 Jan 09 2013 at 10:44 AM Rating: Excellent
Will the cross-server finder be "auto-group" only, or will we be able to "/sea all worlds" and manually build cross-server? I know it will still fuel the job elitism, which I'm not a fan of, but do y'all think it will be a possibility?

On the topic of job elitism... I pray that every job/class is balanced in some equal way. I hated building exp pt's in XI, seeing only a PUP LFG, and choosing to wait for something else because I knew members already in the group would leave if I invited said PUP.

SE needs to really hit this square on the head, not just in job stat/ability balance, but they also need to create gear for all jobs/classes that is equally balanced every time new stuff is released. Releasing a new expansion with 2 new jobs, new storyline, gear for all others, but then also adding in a few epic pieces for only LNC/GLD/CNJ is going to create gear-check job elitism all over again. If you see an Archer with the new expansion gear, then you see the GLD with the +10% Haste / +10 Acc / +20 Att weapon and the new +5 STR hat, which are you going to go for?
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#10 Jan 09 2013 at 12:29 PM Rating: Good
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IKickYoDog wrote:
Will the cross-server finder be "auto-group" only, or will we be able to "/sea all worlds" and manually build cross-server? I know it will still fuel the job elitism, which I'm not a fan of, but do y'all think it will be a possibility?

On the topic of job elitism... I pray that every job/class is balanced in some equal way. I hated building exp pt's in XI, seeing only a PUP LFG, and choosing to wait for something else because I knew members already in the group would leave if I invited said PUP.

SE needs to really hit this square on the head, not just in job stat/ability balance, but they also need to create gear for all jobs/classes that is equally balanced every time new stuff is released. Releasing a new expansion with 2 new jobs, new storyline, gear for all others, but then also adding in a few epic pieces for only LNC/GLD/CNJ is going to create gear-check job elitism all over again. If you see an Archer with the new expansion gear, then you see the GLD with the +10% Haste / +10 Acc / +20 Att weapon and the new +5 STR hat, which are you going to go for?


I think to keep things simple it will be auto group for the most part. In other words, i dont think there will be a chat channel or "find" feature where you can filter out players that you dont want. If people were fully capable of forming "manual" groups, it will only leave the "leftovers" when its all said and done.

Job elitism will be a tough one to overcome, especially with designated roles such as tank and healer. Without a doubt there will be more damage dealers than healers and tanks out there. But that has always been the tradeoff, more people want to be damage dealers which means a larger sample to choose from. Tanks and healers have less flexibility and are therefore more rare. If that is the case, then of course you will see certain jobs or even individuals boasting about how much damage they can do or what gear they have. In a way, this concept resembles capitalism vs communism. which one works better in the real world?

Job and gear balance has always been a tough one to figure out no matter how many updates and expansions are made. With every little change that makes one job better, there is another job that suffers. Think of it like your favorite sports team, when a referee calls something against your team or in favor of the other, your tendency is to cry foul no matter what right? Sorry to say this cliche but life in general isnt fair and we're all going to have to deal with it.
#11 Jan 09 2013 at 3:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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The irony was that PUP could be a fantastic DD if they had really built it up. I personally knew three people who had their puppets maxed, their PUP geared to the teeth, and who know how to play the hell out of that job, In a Dynamis parse, one of them was consistantly among the top DDs, usually behind our lead BLM and our main WAR, but ahead of the scrubs.

The problem was, and still is, that PUP is a very difficult job to play to that level, and the majority of PUPs are just like those scrub DDs in Dynamis - only worse, because a poorly geared and played PUP is worse than a poorly geared and played SAM. Even a bad SAM can output some consistent low level of damage. If you don't know how to draw out the full potential of PUP, it's going to be like a back line bard thwacking the NM with a staff while in singing gear. Yeah, there's some damage, but it's not worth the TP feed...

Player perception of PUP was biased, but the bias formed for a reason, and that was all the crappy PUPs running around.
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#12 Jan 09 2013 at 3:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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The irony was that PUP could be a fantastic DD if they had really built it up. I personally knew three people who had their puppets maxed, their PUP geared to the teeth, and who know how to play the hell out of that job, In a Dynamis parse, one of them was consistantly among the top DDs, usually behind our lead BLM and our main WAR, but ahead of the scrubs.

The problem was, and still is, that PUP is a very difficult job to play to that level, and the majority of PUPs are just like those scrub DDs in Dynamis - only worse, because a poorly geared and played PUP is worse than a poorly geared and played SAM. Even a bad SAM can output some consistent low level of damage. If you don't know how to draw out the full potential of PUP, it's going to be like a back line bard thwacking the NM with a staff while in singing gear. Yeah, there's some damage, but it's not worth the TP feed...

Player perception of PUP was biased, but the bias formed for a reason, and that was all the crappy PUPs running around.


I completely understand where you're coming from. One of my friends was a really good PUP and I knew what they were capable of, but like you said there were way too many people who did the job a disservice. That, and the fact that the PUP really needed to be built up to be worthwhile. SAM/WAR/DRG didn't need as much time put in to equal more damage in a lot of cases.

I think PUP fell victim to the culture of min/max (which I did fuel in my time of XI.) Thing was, PUP could give you decent physical DD and healing in certain situations. It had the capability to do more than any one job by itself, just on a lower threshold in most cases. While that's great for all-aroundness, people in XI didn't want utility. They wanted maximization.
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#13 Jan 09 2013 at 4:48 PM Rating: Decent
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catwho wrote:
The irony was that PUP could be a fantastic DD if they had really built it up. I personally knew three people who had their puppets maxed, their PUP geared to the teeth, and who know how to play the hell out of that job, In a Dynamis parse, one of them was consistantly among the top DDs, usually behind our lead BLM and our main WAR, but ahead of the scrubs.

The problem was, and still is, that PUP is a very difficult job to play to that level, and the majority of PUPs are just like those scrub DDs in Dynamis - only worse, because a poorly geared and played PUP is worse than a poorly geared and played SAM. Even a bad SAM can output some consistent low level of damage. If you don't know how to draw out the full potential of PUP, it's going to be like a back line bard thwacking the NM with a staff while in singing gear. Yeah, there's some damage, but it's not worth the TP feed...

Player perception of PUP was biased, but the bias formed for a reason, and that was all the crappy PUPs running around.


PUP, SMN, DRG and BST all remained behind top tier DD jobs because of their utility. A WAR will whip a pet jobs ass in a DPS race, but if you put them side by side to solo a mob, the pet jobs will shine.

I think the 'scrub DD' thing is just a mentality that comes from the way the game developed. 99% of the time there was at least 1 person carrying no matter what the event was. 1% of the time people actually cared because the content was easy enough to clear that it didn't really matter. I mean really... how many times were you in an exp group with someone you could tell had no clue what they were doing and you stayed anyway because it was better than LFG for 2 hours?
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Its personal preference and all, but yes we need to educate WoW players that this is OUR game, these are Characters and not Toons. Time to beat that into them one at a time.
#14 Jan 09 2013 at 5:24 PM Rating: Decent
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What's a 'que'?
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#15 Jan 09 2013 at 5:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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According to the scrabble dictionary, it's a tool used in print making.

However, clearly the op meant "queue" as in a line.
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#16 Jan 09 2013 at 8:32 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:

The alternative is server only parties manually created and job elitism ala FFXI. People flagging up for hours. People not able to get into groups because there's not enough players willing to take the time to /sea all and invite. Groups being slow to come together because the leader only wants to put together a perfect party and that PUP or whatever the equivelent ends up being is not wanted. Waiting for a bard. Waiting for a tank on your server when there's one ready to go on another server but you can't see her.

The arguments for and against have been made ad naseum for every mmo since its inception, and the answer always ends up the same. The benefits just plain outweigh the perceived consequences.


That's really not a foregone conclusion. There are plenty of ways to ensure streamlined party play without falling on the double-edged sword of cross-server parties. Personally I don't like cross-server parties; I think it's a lazy bandaid on a gunshot wound in most situations. It might be a good solution if you're starting from a game like EQ or FFXI, but if you don't make the same mistakes those games did, you don't have the same problems.

For example, the insistence upon using a strict trinity system where healers and tanks offer more party value than damage dealers. This is a gaping design problem that, sure, could be improved upon somewhat with cross-server partying. But in a game where this trinity party dynamic is downplayed, or a different party dynamic is used altogether, it doesn't necessarily do anything but water down the sense of community.
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#17 Jan 09 2013 at 11:32 PM Rating: Good
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Guild Wars 2 claimed to have done away with the trinity system... it only sort of worked.

What you ended up with were classes that could feel watered down. Nobody was really that good at anything, everybody was just kind of mediocre at everything. IMO it made the classes feel indistinct from one another.

You don't have to abandon the trinity just to try and be innovative. Just make it so playing a tank or healer solo doesn't suck, and people will do it.

There's also Rift's approach, where they added a fourth "support" role into the mix. That could work well in a Final Fantasy setting too. Using FFXI as an example, a summoner, bard, or red mage could easily fill the support role. Kind of a nebulous role whose responsibilities change depending on what class they are and what the party needs at the time, but doesn't fall squarely into a tank, healer, dps (dd) category.

Cross-server parties are for one thing, and one thing only: to make queue times not stupid. If the group finder (or whatever it ends up being called) can put groups together without ridiculous queue times, then it doesn't need to be cross-server. If it can't, then it does, and you roll with it.
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#18 Jan 09 2013 at 11:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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catwho wrote:
The irony was that PUP could be a fantastic DD if they had really built it up....


Thank you. It's been about three years since I left the game and for some reason I still get mad when people have the audacity to insult my PUP. Smiley: bah
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#19 Jan 10 2013 at 12:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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@Callinon: Guild Wars 2 did away with the trinity system and introduced other party dynamics in its place. The problem wasn't with this particular decision, but that they failed to balance those party dynamics so that they were actually viable. I mean, you can shoot an arrow through a wall of fire and it turns into a flaming arrow. Cool! But, unfortunately, pretty useless. There are plenty of other games that kept the trinity and because of their failure to balance the trinity, it ended with the same problem... the party dynamics were still basically nonexistant. Moral of the story; it doesn't matter what your party dynamic is if you don't actually balance it.

You could have 100 different roles; it all depends on the foundational mechanics of the game. More roles or fewer roles aren't inherently better or worse. (I'm just pointing out that developers lazily glorify the trinity system without actually understanding it. It's not that the trinity inherently facilitates strategic party play or anything like that.) However, the more roles you require for a functioning party, the more you limit player abilities to build a functioning party. If any mishmash of roles will do, then a party finder is completely useless. My point being, if you don't create the problem, you don't need to create the solution.



Edited, Jan 9th 2013 10:07pm by Kachi
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#20 Jan 10 2013 at 1:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kachi wrote:
My point being, if you don't create the problem, you don't need to create the solution.

My influence is spreading... muahahahahahaaaa *cough* hahahaaaa!
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HaibaneRenmei wrote:
30 bucks is almost free

cocodojo wrote:
Its personal preference and all, but yes we need to educate WoW players that this is OUR game, these are Characters and not Toons. Time to beat that into them one at a time.
#21 Jan 10 2013 at 7:23 AM Rating: Good
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Kachi wrote:
@Callinon: Guild Wars 2 did away with the trinity system and introduced other party dynamics in its place. The problem wasn't with this particular decision, but that they failed to balance those party dynamics so that they were actually viable. I mean, you can shoot an arrow through a wall of fire and it turns into a flaming arrow. Cool! But, unfortunately, pretty useless. There are plenty of other games that kept the trinity and because of their failure to balance the trinity, it ended with the same problem... the party dynamics were still basically nonexistant. Moral of the story; it doesn't matter what your party dynamic is if you don't actually balance it.

You could have 100 different roles; it all depends on the foundational mechanics of the game. More roles or fewer roles aren't inherently better or worse. (I'm just pointing out that developers lazily glorify the trinity system without actually understanding it. It's not that the trinity inherently facilitates strategic party play or anything like that.) However, the more roles you require for a functioning party, the more you limit player abilities to build a functioning party. If any mishmash of roles will do, then a party finder is completely useless. My point being, if you don't create the problem, you don't need to create the solution.



Edited, Jan 9th 2013 10:07pm by Kachi

Everything about this is correct. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome, was how much better your group was when you had certain jobs (e.g.- bard)

The reason that the trinity system tends to be so popular, is that it elminates ideal configurations while creating an environment where it's possible to tackle all content with a multitude of different party configurations.
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#22 Jan 10 2013 at 9:13 AM Rating: Good
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FFXI actuallly had seven distinct roles, most of which weren't used in regular party dynamics but which came into play on bigger NMs.

-Puller
-Tank
-Melee
-Nuker
-Healer
-Enfeebler
-Buffer

In a regular party those roles collapsed into the "trinity" somewhat. On larger NMs, the roles became more granular, and were often duplicated multiple times over. Consider the 75 cap standard Jailer of Love setup: A tank party, with two PLD, two whm, a rdm, and a bard. A DD party, with 4 melee, a whm, and a bard. A BLM party, with four blm, a rdm, and a brd or a smn. An external BLM party with 3-4 BLM and a RDM. JoL was technically killable by far fewer, but the overlap of buffs and healing within the main alliance meant you had a lot fewer scary moments, and putting the second BLM party external helped with hate control. (Oh, there was probably a THF in there someplace too.)

Now pit that against a standard 75 cap Dynamis Lord setup: You have a puller team with a THF and a PLD. The THF's sole job was to run the dragons as far away as they could with flee while the rest of the alliance took down the big bad. The main party was 2 PLD, a WHM or two. You have three bards doing a true bard rotation through the alliance to super buff everyone for a couple minutes, because a couple of minutes was all you had. You had as many DD in the main alliance as you could, then the bards dropped out and healers replaced them, and the bards went up to the BLMs in a separate alliance and sang ballads. And when the NM was pulled, everyone threw everything that they had at DL. When it worked, it was like NASA launching a rocket and it was beautiful. When it didn't work..... well, there were a lot of dead bodies sometimes.

Job versatility is important. I think XI's big issue for many years was that the variety of endgame content didn't permit enough job variety. We actually had a PUP who'd come to Jailor of Love, because his puppet was maxed out for nuking, and the lilttle guy provided a steady DoT of 10,000 -15,000 hate free damage over the course of the fight. The giant jellyfish would have moved if a DD did anything like that over the fight. (JoL was a rare XI fight where positioning of the players and the mobs was absolutely critical.)

Now that XI has multiple tiers of content, easy access content, hard mode content, and every flavor in between, people are more welcome to break out of the "trinity" roles and just do their own thing.
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#23 Jan 10 2013 at 1:45 PM Rating: Good
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Imo you can balance jobs six ways to Sunday. Make each job completely unique, make each job perform some similar roles, or create a completely open skill shared system. At the end of the day the"Enemy design balance" dictates who gets invited to what in terms of efficiency.

Design encounters too much in one direction, enter the flavor of the month job bandwagon.
#24 Jan 10 2013 at 3:35 PM Rating: Good
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That's why as I've said recently, it's best to start with balancing jobs against one another first, then designing the monsters.
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#25 Jan 10 2013 at 3:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Ok but how do you define that?

Encounter mechanics are always going to alter how a particular job performs (it'd be weird if they didn't).
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#26 Jan 10 2013 at 4:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
@Callinon: Guild Wars 2 did away with the trinity system and introduced other party dynamics in its place. The problem wasn't with this particular decision, but that they failed to balance those party dynamics so that they were actually viable. I mean, you can shoot an arrow through a wall of fire and it turns into a flaming arrow. Cool! But, unfortunately, pretty useless. There are plenty of other games that kept the trinity and because of their failure to balance the trinity, it ended with the same problem... the party dynamics were still basically nonexistant. Moral of the story; it doesn't matter what your party dynamic is if you don't actually balance it.

You could have 100 different roles; it all depends on the foundational mechanics of the game. More roles or fewer roles aren't inherently better or worse. (I'm just pointing out that developers lazily glorify the trinity system without actually understanding it. It's not that the trinity inherently facilitates strategic party play or anything like that.) However, the more roles you require for a functioning party, the more you limit player abilities to build a functioning party. If any mishmash of roles will do, then a party finder is completely useless. My point being, if you don't create the problem, you don't need to create the solution.



Edited, Jan 9th 2013 10:07pm by Kachi


I dont know how you would build an RPG without defining roles such as the trinity. I've seen games that tried to do away with it like you said, but all it does is create more chaos in the grand scheme of things. Having a trinity, and every support role in between creates purpose. In a role playing sense, everyone involved in the group would like to have a special or unique purpose, hence the term "role playing game"

I tend to think of rpg battles as sort of a puzzle so to speak. If the developers design the game to where a trinity can solve it, then they will design battles accordingly. Of course, this is the most popular method of group dynamics for quite some time now and i think its mainly because of what i said earlier - everyone wants to have a meaningful purpose to their group or a "role" to play.

I think that in an rpg where there are many roles but are less definitive, you run into a situation like in Borderlands or Diablo where it almost becomes every man for himself. I'm not saying that teamwork cant come into play, but dimishes the reliance you would need for teamates. All the teamates represent at this point are more companions to finish the puzzle with. If somehow you can create some kind of reliance by needing other team members, then that would entirely something else.
#27 Jan 10 2013 at 4:09 PM Rating: Default
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catwho wrote:
FFXI actuallly had seven distinct roles, most of which weren't used in regular party dynamics but which came into play on bigger NMs.

-Puller
-Tank
-Melee
-Nuker
-Healer
-Enfeebler
-Buffer



Actually, in XI and in WoW, these roles were combined or shared among the different role classes. It was still a trinity - think like a triangle... and everything else in between, whether enfeebler, buffer, or puller went in one of the 3 directions.
#28 Jan 10 2013 at 4:26 PM Rating: Good
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Kachi wrote:
That's why as I've said recently, it's best to start with balancing jobs against one another first, then designing the monsters.

Not only is it best, it's common sense. There will always be more enemies than characters being developed constantly. Balancing enemies first would require constant retuning of the jobs in response to unique enemies as they are developed. Kinda hard to grow attached to an iconic job if it's shapeshifting what it does constantly.

What I meant by variety of encounters is not too design one trick ponies or if you do. Look at the entire beastiary at the very least. What is the ratio of flying enemies to ground enemies? What jobs benefit most against ground or flying? If the ratio is skewed too far in one direction, balance the ratio. Magic versus physical weakness, balance it. Weak to Thunder vs weak to fire, balance it. Weak to piercing vs weak to blunt, balance it. Which enemies are player resource hogs versus which barely dent player resources, if players trend to a particular xp mob because it's easy on player resources and gives faster xp, balance it.

Use metrics and extend that into endgame content. In order to retain iconic job identites, some jobs will excel at certain roles. The only way around that is to try and mish mash jobs into shared roles. I say there is no problem with job uniqueness if enemies get balanced last and correctly.

I fear that SE is treading deadly water trying to balance jobs in PvE and PvP together. Either balance PvE and PvP separately or risk pissing off your PvP & PvE fanbase in one motion.
#29 Jan 10 2013 at 4:54 PM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
That's why as I've said recently, it's best to start with balancing jobs against one another first, then designing the monsters.

Except this is the complete opposite of creating the problem before needing a solution. It covers PvP, but does nothing for PvE Smiley: tongue
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#30 Jan 10 2013 at 5:43 PM Rating: Good
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Archmage Callinon wrote:
Ok but how do you define that?

Encounter mechanics are always going to alter how a particular job performs (it'd be weird if they didn't).


FFXIV 1.xx attempted this by creating alternate objectives to your primary.

For example, primary objective may be to kill Garuda.

But the secondary objective would be to protect the 4 pillars that guard you form her 2hr.

Certain classes, like Magic Classes, were ineffectual against the Plumes which damaged the pillars, so classes like Bard (partially) and Dragoon (primarily) became niche in even though BLM dealt steady safe damage.

This was great in concept, but certain executions fell a touch short of what was needed, and some exploits were still there or had to be patched away.

But they're keeping enemy and encounter balancing in mind when they design these, at least.
#31 Jan 10 2013 at 5:50 PM Rating: Good
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That's really interesting. I like the idea of encounters that give you more to do than "hit that until it stops moving." I'd be a little concerned about class exclusions, but given FFXIV's apparently-huge party size, that's probably not really that big a deal at least for event fights.
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#32 Jan 10 2013 at 6:30 PM Rating: Good
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Callinon wrote:
That's really interesting. I like the idea of encounters that give you more to do than "hit that until it stops moving." I'd be a little concerned about class exclusions, but given FFXIV's apparently-huge party size, that's probably not really that big a deal at least for event fights.


FFXI allowed you to have 18-man teams and the player-base still resorted to either "Throw more BLM at it" or "Throw more SAM at it". You can design mob fights all you want with the idea that the players 'would' want to use various jobs, but it hardly ever plays out that way. The player-base in general will always go the easiest route. If you design it where the players are forced to have or use x-job/ability in the battle, the players will just not do the event/battle if the reward isn't worth it.

SE designed several low-man instanced content with some really decent gear rewards over the years in FFXI. Yet, because the player-base in general felt they were too hard to figure out or setup stopped playing the content soon after it was released.

If you don't create jobs that are unique enough yet with some overlap in abilities/roles, you end up with a bunch of people in solo-mode. Might as well make a single-player console game at that point.
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#33 Jan 10 2013 at 6:45 PM Rating: Good
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Well yeah... FFXI allowed 18 man alliances, but let's get real here.. they were bigger than that Smiley: wink. Dynamis originally allowed what? 64 people? It was something like that, been a long time.

I do agree that specializing down too far isn't the answer, for instance you wouldn't want a fight that includes as a mechanic "Use this specific DRK job ability on this thing at this time or you lose." That'd be a mistake, but I'd be very surprised to see that kind of mistake at this point.

Jobs need to cover their role as well as have a niche all their own so that they aren't all just carbon copies of one another with different-looking armor. However, it isn't completely necessary that all jobs be just as good as all other jobs at a particular role. For instance, it's probably ok if BLM does more damage on the fight that requires melee to run around a lot. It's probably ok if having a SMN to hurl a pet at an add helps keep your tank focused on the boss for a few seconds longer while the pet gets eaten. It's probably ok if WHM is a better tank healer than the other healing classes, maybe they aren't as good at multi-target healing.

Those are random examples, but you get the point. It's important for the delta in performance to not be massive, but it's ok for it to exist.
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#34 Jan 10 2013 at 7:08 PM Rating: Decent
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This turned out to be something of a crash course in game balance principles. I ended up responding to three people but it all sort of ties together.

FilthMcNasty wrote:
Kachi wrote:
That's why as I've said recently, it's best to start with balancing jobs against one another first, then designing the monsters.

Except this is the complete opposite of creating the problem before needing a solution. It covers PvP, but does nothing for PvE Smiley: tongue


No, because the first problem creating by ANY multi-role system is balancing those roles against one another. Otherwise, even in a strictly PVE game, you have players roundly professing which classes are good and which are not. This was true in early XI especially... healers and tanks were statistically superior to melee damage dealers in almost every encounter. You couldn't have a party without them because they were so statistically powerful. Bearing in mind that any battle is ultimately a game of "Get their HP to zero before your party's HP reaches 0," tanks, healers, and especially refreshers were numerical godsends which single-handedly controlled the flow of party HP in favor of the group far more than the weight of a few DD's. In more recent years, of course, that balance flipped so that tanking was often inessential.

balishag wrote:


I dont know how you would build an RPG without defining roles such as the trinity. I've seen games that tried to do away with it like you said, but all it does is create more chaos in the grand scheme of things. Having a trinity, and every support role in between creates purpose. In a role playing sense, everyone involved in the group would like to have a special or unique purpose, hence the term "role playing game"

I tend to think of rpg battles as sort of a puzzle so to speak. If the developers design the game to where a trinity can solve it, then they will design battles accordingly. Of course, this is the most popular method of group dynamics for quite some time now and i think its mainly because of what i said earlier - everyone wants to have a meaningful purpose to their group or a "role" to play.

I think that in an rpg where there are many roles but are less definitive, you run into a situation like in Borderlands or Diablo where it almost becomes every man for himself. I'm not saying that teamwork cant come into play, but dimishes the reliance you would need for teamates. All the teamates represent at this point are more companions to finish the puzzle with. If somehow you can create some kind of reliance by needing other team members, then that would entirely something else.


As I just touched on, it's less of a puzzle than a race. It's a question of your team getting the opponent's HP to 0 before they get yours to 0. That's just the way we conventionally create the mechanics in MMOs... they don't have to be that way, it's just the objective that we usually work from.

As for teamwork, there's a difference between needing OTHER team members and needing CERTAIN KINDS of team members. The former is what we're hoping to achieve; not the latter. And the solution is easy: allow groups of players to be more than the sum of their parts. It really just comes down to a question of party interaction. That's all that teamwork is. It doesn't have to be, "I heal you, and you attack him, and this guy distracts him." It can just be, "I knock him over with a punch to the face, then you keep him down with a stomp to the chest, and then that guy pummels him with a finishing attack... our combo does massive damage." Everyone can have damage, support, crowd control, healing, and tanking roles. What determines the level of teamwork is how those abilities interact. In many games, there is no explicit interaction between skills. They just force you to interact by making you suck at all but one thing, or at least making you so much better at one thing that it's the only thing it makes sense to do. But all you have to do is give players an incentive to work together, even if it's just simple combos that do tons of damage. Of course, the possibilities reach much further than that.

Archmage Callinon wrote:
Ok but how do you define that?

Encounter mechanics are always going to alter how a particular job performs (it'd be weird if they didn't).


As someone else indicated, you will design hundreds of encounters for as long as the game lives. Interclass balance should be adjusted as few times as possible. When you are able to treat monsters as (essentially) other players, balancing encounters against player teams is easy. You just have to ask, "Is this strong enough or too strong for X number of players?" When you build a party dynamic that does not account for interclass balance, any encounter that breaks from that party dynamic chips away at the interclass balance (aside from making it much harder to build a functioning party).

A simple way of looking at it is that if you break down the math, different classes, on average, weigh more or less towards your success based on their balance. A damage dealer might have a weight of 1, while a tank has a weight of 2, and a healer has a weight of 3. Then you have the refresher who has a weight of 5. This is the inevitable result of building a functioning party dynamic against an "average" pre-established encounter. While you need some damage dealers just to keep the fight from taking forever, if you're looking at a battle without regard for the time it takes to kill, a tank, a couple of healers and a few refreshers is almost guaranteed to win the HP race, slow and steady as they are. Damage dealers can speed up the race, but you're increasing the risk that you'll lose because they aren't as powerful contributors in the HP race. Of course, sometimes you don't just want to win, but win quickly (as in experience parties). And that's where you saw melee damage dealers being considered worthless for big fights where the win was most important, and still only sort of desirable if they were actually good in parties where kill speed mattered.

So yeah, you achieve a certain kind of balance with a system like that, but look at how fragile and difficult to balance against it is.





Edited, Jan 10th 2013 5:10pm by Kachi
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#35 Jan 10 2013 at 7:12 PM Rating: Default
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I have to admit, I mostly clicked on this link to say something pessimistic after reading the title. Then I read your idea, and that actually sounds brilliant!

I love the idea of the dungeon queing up your player and throwing you into a group... It actually solves numerous problems that people take issue with, with regards to the grouping system.

~With regards to the complains that everyone will just stay in the main hub... this could be solves by required you to physically be at the location of the dungeon. No different than doing a CoP quest for instance.


@Kachi -- Your posts are a joy to read. They are always intelligent, well spoken, and thought provoking. Someone like you (and several others on this board) should be on the team at a game development company.


SmashingtonWho wrote:
The system where you put in your desired role and que, then keep playing until you get a message saying "Your party has been filled. Would you like to teleport to the dungeon?"

Sure, let me park my character somewhere safe and go do some group content. Then, a fun instanced dungeon run insues. At the end, it plops you back out wherever you were and you continue questing, crafting etc.

You know what's better than Level Sync? Just drop your level to any level you have previously attained and the game automatically levels your gear down and nerfs your abilites by some % (although they are all still available).

Ok, ok, not all MMO's have to be the same. But the best parts, that allow players to play with RL friends at any level, and casuals to access group content with very little time, are just way to good to leave out.

EDIT: See below for Xioe's link to the thread where Yoshi-P discusses the proposed Content Finder for FFXIV.

Edited, Jan 9th 2013 10:53am by SmashingtonWho



Edited, Jan 10th 2013 8:14pm by je355804

Edited, Jan 10th 2013 8:14pm by je355804

Edited, Jan 10th 2013 8:18pm by je355804
#36 Jan 10 2013 at 7:45 PM Rating: Good
I keep seeing everyone go back and forth on this class balance issue and Kachi I like the thought of your idea with combos, but how would you make something like this work on a day to day basis? Are we saying that, in a class v class balanced system, any combination of classes will work for any encounter?

For example: I want to fight Bahamut and it takes an alliance of 18 players. I've found 15 DD, a tank and 2 BLM and no whm seeking to group. Now, in a system like FFXI this would be impossible since there isn't a single true healer and way too much hate coming off the tank. If we're running your proposed system of class balance, how would you try to make this work? Would that setup be impossible and would I then have to find a WHM? If I do, then aren't we back to the trinity in a way?

I really am asking out of curiosity, as I'm not quite able to wrap my head around the alternative.

Edited, Jan 10th 2013 8:46pm by IKickYoDog
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#37 Jan 10 2013 at 7:48 PM Rating: Decent
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@Kachi -- Your posts are a joy to read. They are always intelligent, well spoken, and thought provoking. Someone like you (and several others on this board) should be on the team at a game development company.


Wow, well thank you. But look, you're actually the second person to tell me that in the last 24 hours, and I have to say, I'm going to get a big head at this rate.

I mean, saying something nice to another person? On the INTERNET? "ur doin it wrong," and so forth. What's this world coming to? Smiley: lol
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#38 Jan 10 2013 at 7:50 PM Rating: Good
Kachi wrote:
Quote:
@Kachi -- Your posts are a joy to read. They are always intelligent, well spoken, and thought provoking. Someone like you (and several others on this board) should be on the team at a game development company.


Wow, well thank you. But look, you're actually the second person to tell me that in the last 24 hours, and I have to say, I'm going to get a big head at this rate.

I mean, saying something nice to another person? On the INTERNET? "ur doin it wrong," and so forth. What's this world coming to? Smiley: lol


So sad, yet usually so true Smiley: oyvey
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#39 Jan 10 2013 at 8:17 PM Rating: Good
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IKickYoDog wrote:
I keep seeing everyone go back and forth on this class balance issue and Kachi I like the thought of your idea with combos, but how would you make something like this work on a day to day basis? Are we saying that, in a class v class balanced system, any combination of classes will work for any encounter?

For example: I want to fight Bahamut and it takes an alliance of 18 players. I've found 15 DD, a tank and 2 BLM and no whm seeking to group. Now, in a system like FFXI this would be impossible since there isn't a single true healer and way too much hate coming off the tank. If we're running your proposed system of class balance, how would you try to make this work? Would that setup be impossible and would I then have to find a WHM? If I do, then aren't we back to the trinity in a way?

I really am asking out of curiosity, as I'm not quite able to wrap my head around the alternative.


I have to get back to work here at some point, but let me try to address your example at least.

It all comes down to the numerical balance in this HP race. Let me put forth a hypothetical scenario. Your tank jumps in and starts doing his thing. You don't have any healers, so he's probably screwed, but he knows that he plays a valuable role in preventing your party from losing as much HP as he possibly can, so he dies valiantly. Several of your damage dealers also have a first aid skill. Every once in a while, they can chip in a bit of healing to revive the tank. Numerically, he'll make the most benefit of that healing. And maybe before he dies, he uses a combo kamikaze attack with a fellow DD... a Berserker who throws him at the enemy. They're using teamwork to turn that little bit of his remaining "party" HP into a significantly bigger loss of "enemy" HP. Your two BLMs have decided to combine their Wind spell and Ice spell to create a powerful Blizzard. Your other DDs are doing similar combos, really not entirely different from Skillchains and Magic Bursts in FFXI, but with a lot more variety. Maybe some of those combos have crowd control effects and other status effects. People are cooperating to execute attacks of all types. Some require positioning, timing, and communication. But no one is simply swinging away solo... everybody is cooperating to activate these benefits, and the party becomes more than the sum of its parts.

And of course, in that, you can have secondary objectives and such as well. But the bottom line is that if the team works together and manages their resources wisely, they win the HP battle... in this particular case, by creating as much damage as they can as quickly and sustainably as they can. If they don't, they lose. Throw a single healer in the mix instead. In a lot of games, that single healer could restore thousands of HP for the tank and keep him alive for a very long time, maybe for the entire battle. But this healer is balanced to contribute roughly the same as any damage dealer does.

Hell, let's even look at some basic math:
Let's say the average endgamer has 1000 HP. So we want to balance Bahamut against this alliance of 18; let's give him 18000 just for arguments sake. We'll just forget about defense algorithms for now and use a direct damage system where attacks do a set amount of damage.

So let's say we balance the average damage dealer so that, head to head, Bahamut is going to do 1000 damage to him via AOE in the time it takes him to do 800 damage to Bahamut. All other things being equal, Bahamut will win this race because he'll have a few thousand HP left by the time he kills all the DD's.

Some game's answer to this problem is to make the healer recover 5000 HP... PER HEAL. This way, those damage dealers can stay alive and swinging as a healer spreads out that 5000HP among the group, allowing them to win the race... with this special brand of "teamwork". But we're not going to do that. We're going to look at the damage dealers and say, "Hey, if they can only contribute 800 points in the HP race during this amount of time, let's make the healer ALSO contribute 800 points of HP healing to the race."

So that's our starting point for balance. And we know exactly what kind of numbers a full alliance is bringing to the party because we made them the same. And that means we can easily balance the monster for any group of players.

Now in reality, we're going to want to create a skill differential. This is where we turn a race that is numerically pretty even into a situation where players might win and might lose. This will be a sort of statistical procedure where we try to peg down what level of player skill is needed to win. We've figured out Bahamut's baseline, but we're going to make him MUCH stronger to account for players doing an excellent job, racking up damage bonuses and healing bonuses with artful execution of teamwork/combos, crowd control, and personal performance. Now, the HP race is no longer on rails, but it's what the players do more than the numbers that determines if they win.

Er, hope that suffices. Back to work.



Edited, Jan 10th 2013 6:19pm by Kachi
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Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#40 Jan 10 2013 at 8:35 PM Rating: Good
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Archmage Callinon wrote:
That's really interesting. I like the idea of encounters that give you more to do than "hit that until it stops moving." I'd be a little concerned about class exclusions, but given FFXIV's apparently-huge party size, that's probably not really that big a deal at least for event fights.


Currently, this isn't an issue. With 8 players in the party and 8 classes there is really room for one of each class. Only when they start adding onto this number will this become an issue.

As it stands, however, they can potentially create encounters with one of each class in mind (They in fact designed garuda with one of each class in mind double on bard, and Nael Darnus with one of each class in mind, double on BLM, there was no Arcanist/Summoner in the game at this point.)

There's always going to be some classes that edge out others in fights, that's natural. And Yoshida isn't hiding the fact that he encourages people to level multiple Classes/Jobs up.

But being able to create fights that have multiple objectives that require more than one specific type of approach is something they are attempting, at least, and I'd say the fights I experienced were fairly balanced in terms of demand. I'd say if you approach a group with one "Main" class of one type, and one "Secondary" class of another, you'll have a great chance of a spot.

I know Lin, my main character, is a Dragoon Primarily, but I'm not certain what her secondary Job/Class will be.
#41 Jan 10 2013 at 9:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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balishag wrote:
catwho wrote:
FFXI actuallly had seven distinct roles, most of which weren't used in regular party dynamics but which came into play on bigger NMs.

-Puller
-Tank
-Melee
-Nuker
-Healer
-Enfeebler
-Buffer



Actually, in XI and in WoW, these roles were combined or shared among the different role classes. It was still a trinity - think like a triangle... and everything else in between, whether enfeebler, buffer, or puller went in one of the 3 directions.


Right, in exp parties. But in the big alliance based NM fights the roles splintered quite a bit. As a bard, I was a puller and a buffer for a long time - now I'm usually a buffer, enfeebler, and backup healer, not so much a puller what with all the roaming Abyssea parties. In an alliance HNM fight like Dynamis Lord? All I did for a good two minutes was buff desperately - trying to get all three parties in the alliance done and then the black mages in the other alliance with 2 hour ballads meant that I had no time for any other role. In modern 99 cap alliances, I'm invited almost exclusively for buffs and BRD specific job procs. Not healing, not pulling, nothing but marches and threnodies.
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#42 Jan 11 2013 at 4:54 AM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
FilthMcNasty wrote:
Kachi wrote:
That's why as I've said recently, it's best to start with balancing jobs against one another first, then designing the monsters.

Except this is the complete opposite of creating the problem before needing a solution. It covers PvP, but does nothing for PvE Smiley: tongue


No, because the first problem creating by ANY multi-role system is balancing those roles against one another. Otherwise, even in a strictly PVE game, you have players roundly professing which classes are good and which are not.


You don't balance the roles Kachi, you balance the content. Players should be challenged to keep up with the content, not with each other.

Kachi wrote:
This was true in early XI especially... healers and tanks were statistically superior to melee damage dealers in almost every encounter. You couldn't have a party without them because they were so statistically powerful.


I don't know what is meant here by 'statistically superior'. You could easily switch it up and say that you couldn't have a party without DD.
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#43 Jan 11 2013 at 5:44 AM Rating: Decent
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I don't know what is meant here by 'statistically superior'. You could easily switch it up and say that you couldn't have a party without DD.


I thought I did a pretty good job of explaining it, but if you really read what I said and still don't see my point, what I mean by "statistically superior" is that they are far more powerful in the HP race. A healer can easily be worth three damage dealers... so why would you take 1 healer and 3 damage dealers if you could have 2 healers and 2 damage dealers? As I explained, if time were not a consideration, you could easily have a party without DD in many circumstances. If there were any risk on the line of losing, you'd actually be more likely to win with 4 healers and no dedicated damage dealers in many games... even though it might take forever, they stand the better chance of winning. In fact, they started giving monsters regen and rage timers in many games just to try to counter that problem. Unfortunately that still didn't help the damage dealers who weren't balanced against the best damage dealing classes from being left out of the parties. People just picked the best ones.

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You don't balance the roles Kachi, you balance the content. Players should be challenged to keep up with the content, not with each other.


You could take that approach if you're married to a strict trinity system, but no MMO is these days and frankly, no one wants it to be. People love all the flavor classes even when their role is sort of redundant or inessential.

But I think you're missing the point of balancing the classes. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with PvP. It's so that each class brings an inherently equal contribution to EVERY encounter, which makes balancing the content MUCH easier. I also think I did a pretty good job of explaining that in my Bahamut example above; sorry that it was so long.

Encounters are the variable... you'll always be making more and changing them; classes are the control... you want to preserve their balance, because it's delicate. You can never maintain balance in a game where you're constantly trying to adapt the classes to the content, so why would you start there? Get the class balance right from the get-go, and the content you create will be suitable to any group of players, no matter which classes they bring to the encounter.
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#44 Jan 11 2013 at 12:52 PM Rating: Decent
Ah! A Queue. Thanks for that.

So I see that the whole Content Finder and subsequent discussion about cross-server vs. same-server was discussed quite a bit back in the 2012 thread. I think Ultknightgrover had the best comment in that discussion with his suggestion to let people pick if they want to be in the Cross-Server or Same-Server queue.

I think I understand Kanenitty's point about accountability for looting and the lack of community development. For myself, I prefer increased accessibility and time savings.

I think this topic fits in the category of things that MMO veterans expect to have available. Surely the potential players who are willing to give FFXIV another shot are not going to be content shouting for parties in town.

I would think that it's time for new innvoations in Party Queue systems that would address the looting and community development issues. Perhaps some kind of honor/rating system that improves your chanches of being re-grouped with people you select as having enjoyed playing with. Improvements to the Queue system would, IMO, be preferrable to ommiting it.

#45 Jan 11 2013 at 2:00 PM Rating: Decent
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I would think that it's time for new innvoations in Party Queue systems that would address the looting and community development issues. Perhaps some kind of honor/rating system that improves your chanches of being re-grouped with people you select as having enjoyed playing with. Improvements to the Queue system would, IMO, be preferrable to ommiting it.


Might be fine for a traditional trinity-heavy MMO where filling party roles is essential, but I say why stop there? If you absolve yourself of the need for a Party Finder to fill those roles, then you can have a system that does you one better: plainly, without fanfare, parties you with friends, and should you like to meet some new people, with friends of friends. THAT'S basic social networking functionality, and it's missing from MMOs because they cling to antiquated party dynamics where social wants (like playing with friends) take a backseat to poor encounter designs that favor a party of classes A, A, B, J, X, and Z.
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Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#46 Jan 11 2013 at 2:43 PM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
This was true in early XI especially... healers and tanks were statistically superior to melee damage dealers in almost every encounter. You couldn't have a party without them because they were so statistically powerful.


I don't know what is meant here by 'statistically superior'. You could easily switch it up and say that you couldn't have a party without DD.[/quote]


While that may be partially true, I would have to agree that statistically the Healer and Tank were superior to the DD.

To illustrate, over a sample size of let us say 1,000 battles. A party full of tanks and healers would defeat maybe 600 of those enemies. Whereas a party comprised only of DDs would only win say 300 of the battles.... In "early" FFXI that is i.e. the dunes.
#47 Jan 11 2013 at 6:40 PM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
Quote:
I don't know what is meant here by 'statistically superior'. You could easily switch it up and say that you couldn't have a party without DD.


I thought I did a pretty good job of explaining it, but if you really read what I said and still don't see my point, what I mean by "statistically superior" is that they are far more powerful in the HP race. A healer can easily be worth three damage dealers... so why would you take 1 healer and 3 damage dealers if you could have 2 healers and 2 damage dealers?


I didn't understand it because you used XI as an example.

A decent NIN tank, and by that I mean someone who is capable of counting to 4, could almost completely negate incoming damage depending on the mob being fought. The statistical superiority of a class depends on the group composition AND the encounter. NIN and /NIN made it possible for groups devoid of main healers to function as well and it most cases, better than mitigation tanks.

A safe group isn't always the most efficient. As we saw with most merit groups in XI, many healers AND DD were left out because the utility wasn't necessary. Posed as a question like you did, why would you take a main healing class when all of your group is /NIN and not taking large amounts of damage? My point here is that a job's statistical superiority depends more on the task before a group than it does the composition of the group. When you are heading to a camp or an encounter you usually weigh the mechanics of the encounter before trying to compose a group to deal with that encounter quickly and/or efficiently.

Kachi wrote:
In fact, they started giving monsters regen and rage timers in many games just to try to counter that problem. Unfortunately that still didn't help the damage dealers who weren't balanced against the best damage dealing classes from being left out of the parties. People just picked the best ones.


Right, but this wasn't a function of a class not being balanced against another class, it was a matter of a class not being balanced to the content. People didn't take anything but MNK and WHM to KRT because of the damage type that was given an advantage. My point here is that if the content had been balanced to support situations that multiple jobs could excel in, you wouldn't have had the exclusion that we saw in XI where people only left to merit with groups full of the same job. Manaburns, summonerburns, arrowburns, spampage and whatever else you could come up with for a name for these groups that stacked the same jobs to focus down content wouldn't have been viable unless the content itself allowed for it.

Kachi wrote:
You could take that approach if you're married to a strict trinity system, but no MMO is these days and frankly, no one wants it to be. People love all the flavor classes even when their role is sort of redundant or inessential.


I think if you took a poll you'd find that there are many more people who want class identities to be more clearly defined than you think. I would count myself among them. An ideal MMO to me requires more than just forming a group consisting of x amount of generic tanks, y amount of generic healers or supports and z amount of damage dealers. Ideally you would want to have encounters that didn't require jobs x, y and z and instead presented players with a sort of gambit decision when forming a group where there are many choices that work, but sacrifices that are given up for an advantage elsewhere.

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#48 Jan 12 2013 at 3:41 AM Rating: Decent
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Right, it seems I'm still not getting my point across. I agree with a lot of your observations, just not the conclusions that you're drawing about game design.

What it ultimately comes down to is that the balance of the classes you create will determine how you have to balance the content. If you create the content first, then you have to balance classes against the content... and the content will change. Not only will it change as you add more, thus requiring you to ensure that you have some semblance of overarching class:content balance, but it will simply be different for the classes you create. The reason being, no classes you create can possibly bring an equal level of performance to encounters which are designed before the classes even exist.

Balance deals much more with the numerical quantities that you work with than it does any kind of mechanical qualities that you design. Any mechanic that you design has a quantity associated with it, even if those quantities are simply "0 or 1." Balance does not depend on creating monsters with X skills and then giving players counter-X skills. It depends primarily on the numbers balancing out. The trial-and-error by numbers approach that most developers use is to blame for most balance problems in MMOs today.

An analogy:

I give you a list of 500 numbers, and tell you that you must come up with 10 numbers that, when added together, can equal all of those 500 numbers.
OR
I give you a list of 10 numbers, and tell you to come up with a list of 500 numbers that, when the 10 numbers are added together, can equal those 500 numbers.

Which seems simpler, easier, and more likely to work?

This, in a nutshell, is the difference between the approaches you and I are advocating. It is much easier to mathematically balance hundreds of encounters from a given list of pre-balanced classes. When you balance those classes against one another statistically to start with, it's not even a matter of different numbers. It becomes a question of how many players are there? 6? Ok, then this encounter is for any 6 players. Balanced numerically, not by some ass-backwards trial and error mechanics-based approach.
____________________________
Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#49 Jan 12 2013 at 12:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Good read Kachi! Now i think balancing classes is a bit harder than all that, or atleast thats what i see from games, i am not sure why if it is as easy as both of you describe, they is so much imbalance in games, maybe PVP has a part ?
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#50 Jan 12 2013 at 1:38 PM Rating: Default
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Kachi wrote:
Right, it seems I'm still not getting my point across. I agree with a lot of your observations, just not the conclusions that you're drawing about game design.

What it ultimately comes down to is that the balance of the classes you create will determine how you have to balance the content. If you create the content first, then you have to balance classes against the content... and the content will change. Not only will it change as you add more, thus requiring you to ensure that you have some semblance of overarching class:content balance, but it will simply be different for the classes you create. The reason being, no classes you create can possibly bring an equal level of performance to encounters which are designed before the classes even exist.

Balance deals much more with the numerical quantities that you work with than it does any kind of mechanical qualities that you design. Any mechanic that you design has a quantity associated with it, even if those quantities are simply "0 or 1." Balance does not depend on creating monsters with X skills and then giving players counter-X skills. It depends primarily on the numbers balancing out. The trial-and-error by numbers approach that most developers use is to blame for most balance problems in MMOs today.

An analogy:

I give you a list of 500 numbers, and tell you that you must come up with 10 numbers that, when added together, can equal all of those 500 numbers.
OR
I give you a list of 10 numbers, and tell you to come up with a list of 500 numbers that, when the 10 numbers are added together, can equal those 500 numbers.

Which seems simpler, easier, and more likely to work?

This, in a nutshell, is the difference between the approaches you and I are advocating. It is much easier to mathematically balance hundreds of encounters from a given list of pre-balanced classes. When you balance those classes against one another statistically to start with, it's not even a matter of different numbers. It becomes a question of how many players are there? 6? Ok, then this encounter is for any 6 players. Balanced numerically, not by some ass-backwards trial and error mechanics-based approach.



I think you're mostly correct in your assertions, however, during actual production, I'm sure some combination of the two approaches occurs.

They most likely develop a list of jobs and have an idea of how they would like the jobs to interact with one another, however as they begin testing realize this job or that job needs a bit of tweaking etc etc.
#51 Jan 12 2013 at 1:48 PM Rating: Default
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Well yeah, it's definitely more complicated than all that. Direct damage mechanics make balancing much easier (e.g., Powerful Attack does 400 damage, rather than some equation that factors in several stats). They have their downsides, too.

As for the process, usually the two things are developed somewhat simultaneously, and that's totally fine and smart. You can create all of the classes and monsters and abilities in the entire game before you even start the process of balancing the content (and sometimes that's basically the way it's done). The question is really, when you're trying to answer the question, "What should the numbers be?" how do you go about it? And most go about it in a back and forth, trial and error way. That's just considered an acceptable practice due to the glorification of the iterative process (where you don't try too hard to get it right the first time) in game design. But when you're working with numbers, there are easier ways. Like using a touch of math.
____________________________
Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
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