Thursday, July 09, 2009

Morning In Vana'diel: A Delicate Balance

Morning in Vana'diel is your daily dose of FFXI and all things Vana'diel. Give us your thoughts on the interesting topics of the day! Today, Ring considers current game imbalance and if there is any chance it can ever be fixed.

PLD's get another buff. Is it a big buff? We don't really know yet, and won't know until the update it look like. But I can tell you this, I had my NIN out the other day and while I can still keep up with hate against a PLD (though it does take a little longer to build and it's harder to get back) I just don't have the survivability of that other tank. I didn't die at all, but I did take more damage, and I required more attention from buffers and healers than our PLD need. And why shouldn't they? We get one more shadow which is nice, except for any shadow-wiping ability which is like any important mob TP move, but PLD get's better gear, better situational gear, better JA, a shield and now with Atonement they can even do damage. NIN can do damage too, somewhat, depending on what you are fighting, and Durado Sushi can help with that, but in the end they aren't going to get the consistent hate of Joyuese and Atonement, and they are going to have to give up a good chunk of damage reduction to do any damage. And they don't even get access to things like this.

NIN isn't the only place that imbalance occurs, but it is one of the best examples. RNG is another that I mentioned yesterday, and even though the two-handers are now pretty close that is because they just do a ton of damage more than anyone else. What happened to MNK? SE has tried to balance back WHM against the abilities of RDM and I believe they have done so rather well, but what about BLM against SCH? What about BST? BLU and COR both have their occasional niches, but should SE build jobs around niches? Or should they think about fixing things that cause these disparities in the first place? There are a couple of places that SE could look to re-balance things.

1. Stop buffing JA's and Magic independently of each other. When you buff a JA or a spell or just about anything in the game, don't just think about how it effects that job, but think about what other jobs need to be buffed to compensate for the new, stronger JA.

2. Rethink the damage for two-hander versus dual-wielders. If you are going to increase the strength of two-handers that is great, but give something to the dual-wielders to let them keep up too. More haste? Equalized stat bonuses?

3. Be ready to admit you made a mistake or have gone too far. This is SE's major problem. They have no idea how to fix things they tried to fix in the past. Although people complain like nothing else when servers go down after updates to fix problems, I much prefer that they do that than leave these broken. Fix problems, fix them fast and get things balanced.

This is definitely not a comprehensive list of ways that SE can re-balance issues in the game, but it is definitely a start. I would prefer they were much less cautious with changes if they were willing to roll them back if they were too much. It took many months for SE to finally fix the RNG nerf, when the problem was obvious from the first day the patch came out.

Is it a sense of entitlement they have? Do they think they really know how to make the players enjoy the game more than the players do? I am not saying they should give the players everything they want, but there is a difference between whining and legitimate criticism. SE just has a problem figuring out the difference.

Do you think PLD is overpowered? What about SAM? Do they need more buffs? Does everyone need more buffs? Is it even possible to balance this game with so many jobs? Do we really even need balance? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!


Omoikitte said...

I think I am definately on the other side of the fence for this particular issue, particularly when it comes down to the 2hander issue. Coming from this as a Dragoon, I always thought it was patently ridiculous that a ninja could do more damage than a polearm or a greataxe. I think that this is a more appropriate balance, and the ONLY reason people smart about it is because they remember "the good old days", sure I can go even further back when monks could asuran fists endlessly, sure, changing this nerfed dragoons horrendously, but at the end of the day, it was a change for the equilibrium of the game.

I think the gaming community demands a lot from the developers and doesn't always temper it with reason, just expectation which is a huge thing to live up to and not everyone can be pleased, I also don't believe for a second that they buff each job in isolation to the rest of the game, or the other jobs.

Keith said...

I am a bit in line with the agreement of this particular argument. The whole argument of (Well, just because it is a big weapon I should be on top of things) seems to be a rather moot point. Getting hit where it counts vs getting hit by something big both tend to come to the same results.

I do not quite think it is so much of the old days at all in this regard. The boost has put such a disparity between some 1H classes and other 2H classes that is rather ridiculous the effort that the former has to put in to equal the below average of the latter. Quite so much so that you end up running into a lot more of the former than the latter in the alternative forms of xp, mostly for the reason that we just plain cant all get a merit party no matter how well geared or skilled we may be. Tending to rely on social connections and even then typically only when other options are flat out exhausted.

The developers have it hard indeed, but it has also been several years.