Friday, November 5, 2010

About Balance, Part 2

After the last post you might think that balance is impossible. Well it is not.

In this very simple model there are five variables:

And there are four design targets:
T1:= Player_Health / Player_DPS = Time a player needs to kill another player
T2:= Player_Health / Player_HPS = Time a player needs to heal another to full
T3:= Mob_Health / Player_DPS = Time a player needs to kill a mob
T4:= Player_Health / Mob_DPS = Time a mob needs to kill a player

This yields:
Player_HPS = Player_Health / T2
Mob_Health = Player_Health x T3 / T1
Mob_DPS = Player_Health / T4
Player_DPS = Player_Health / T1

One varible can be used to scale the rest. I have chosen Player_Health, but you can choose any other.
Point is that balance is possible. Just not by cycling through the variables like in the post before, but by looking at all of them simultaneously.

What is interesting, maybe, is that some design targets are not free to chose by the developer. For example
T5:= Player_DPS / Player_HPS = Power of dps vs. healing.
Actually, T5 = T2 / T1.

Now, obviously MMOs do not consist of players and mobs that only heal/dps at the same rate. In fact, some players need some time to get going (e.g. Feral Druid) and others are best up front (e.g. Arcane Mage).

This not only makes the whole thing much more complicated, but it also is the only hope for some variety while maintaining balance.

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