Class Diversification and Balancing Post-Helios

Class Diversification and Balancing Post-Helios

Postby Elmar » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:36 pm

The developers have run into a dead end again. On the occasion on the 12th anniversary of Lineage 2 opening in Korea they are asking the players for help with diversifying and balancing classes, specifically what could replace the Feral xxx Cries for Tyrr Warriors that are not Grand Khavataris and how to handle the problems that come from being able to deal with only a few classes per update and adjustments invariably going upwards (what we call "overpowered classes" over here):
http://lineage2.plaync.com/board/letters/recent

Unfortunately you must be logged in to be able to read the player suggestions, so we can only wait and see what the next update brings :)
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Re: Helios

Postby Lineage » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:25 pm

Elmar wrote:The developers have run into a dead end again. On the occasion on the 12th anniversary of Lineage 2 opening in Korea they are asking the players for help with diversifying and balancing classes, specifically what could replace the Feral xxx Cries for Tyrr Warriors that are not Grand Khavataris and how to handle the problems that come from being able to deal with only a few classes per update and adjustments invariably going upwards (what we call "overpowered classes" over here):
http://lineage2.plaync.com/board/letters/recent

Unfortunately you must be logged in to be able to read the player suggestions, so we can only wait and see what the next update brings :)



Ohhh, have we any history record about that? I mean has this happened before? If yes, the outcome was for the better or the worst?
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Re: Helios

Postby Draecke » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:51 pm

think last time we had this they came up with the whole awakening etc. new class design also known as Goddess of Destruction..
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Re: Helios

Postby ZeroX » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:39 pm

Well this changes nothing for us, Koreans base themselves on their own circumstances, +20 weapons is one, this doesnt exist on some servers, so whatever we get, were not winning anything out of it.
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Re: Helios

Postby Elmar » Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:18 am

Draecke wrote:think last time we had this they came up with the whole awakening etc. new class design also known as Goddess of Destruction..


Another example would be the poll in February 2014, where the players voted with a clear majority (69%) against more item drops:
http://lineage2.plaync.com/promotion/l2 ... son1/index

Back then you could read the posts in the poll thread, and the reasoning was that more drops would devalue the items already in possession of the players. This is a valid point of view - from the established players' point of view. But it does not solve the main problem of Lineage 2 in Korea: no new players are coming in. When they make an account in the free-to-play range (below lvl 85), see the prices in the Auction House and compare them to the adena drops, they cwertainly won't buy game time points after Awakening.

Asking players for their opinion is not a wise approach to game design.
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Re: Helios

Postby Laby » Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:48 am

Elmar wrote:Asking players for their opinion is not a wise approach to game design.

I disagree with this statement. While the mass of player may have no idea on what they need and how the game works, the developers / game designers would be totally able to differentiate those two stances :
I need more Xp at my usual spot, and also why not make monsters drop Attribute Crystals ? I didn't finish my 3x120 armor yet

and
The Tyrr Warrior totems are a binary approach to a lack of damage of a whole archetype. While they provide a great boost for PvE Activities, their use in PvP is non existent and you remove any choice of opportunity strategy while you are playing against other players. Why not create Feral Cries against class archetypes, Increase damage to or Reducing damage from one of the eight classes (Healer, Wizard, Enchanter & cie) by a significant portion so one Tyrr Warrior can focus on one type of target, creating an effect of tunnel vision not un-similar to a berserker effect ?


Whatever the game, there are a lot of smart players in it. That's those opinions which matter and those opinions the game designers are looking for. The statistical approach is not goot enough to identify trends and balance. You can't master a topic without playing it extensively and that's what the player are paying for, not what the developers are paid for :)

You basically need a bit of both :
  • If you take League of Legends, one of the biggest MOBA at this date, the developpers are often reading community posts (Reddit and their own board) and it is not uncommon for them to do something for an interesting idea. However, LoL having such a huge community, you have a lot of bad ideas / balance ideas. A player who plays casually and not at a top level (competition wise) can't have a healthy knowledge of inner game mechanics. If he did, he would't be in his current ranking. Therefore Riot Games is taking little to no ideas from the community, and use mostly in house reactions (most of employees play the game competitively) and pro players comments during intern tests
  • If you take EvE Online, the population is quite small but the average age is quite high with a median at 31 years (You can see the official details posted here by a CCP employee). Most players are people with a job, real life responsibilities and more often than not a family and I believe you can't beat real life experience when you are talking about perspective and reflexion. The developpers are extremely in touch with the community and while balancing ships are often referring to players ideas. The last example would be the December balance (thread here) where the main game designer is clearly saying :
    Special thanks to community member Suitonia who produces tons of great content on his blog and on youtube. Quite a few of the balance changes in this pass were inspired by his feedback.

    You can read his blog here and you will figure that at least a lot of thoughts are spent on those ideas. Why should developpers refuse to think about others' ideas when they have some logic in it ?
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Re: Helios

Postby Elmar » Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:06 pm

Laby wrote:
Elmar wrote:Asking players for their opinion is not a wise approach to game design.

I disagree with this statement. While the mass of player may have no idea on what they need and how the game works, the developers / game designers would be totally able to differentiate those two stances :
I need more Xp at my usual spot, and also why not make monsters drop Attribute Crystals ? I didn't finish my 3x120 armor yet

and
The Tyrr Warrior totems are a binary approach to a lack of damage of a whole archetype. While they provide a great boost for PvE Activities, their use in PvP is non existent and you remove any choice of opportunity strategy while you are playing against other players. Why not create Feral Cries against class archetypes, Increase damage to or Reducing damage from one of the eight classes (Healer, Wizard, Enchanter & cie) by a significant portion so one Tyrr Warrior can focus on one type of target, creating an effect of tunnel vision not un-similar to a berserker effect ?


Whatever the game, there are a lot of smart players in it. That's those opinions which matter and those opinions the game designers are looking for. The statistical approach is not goot enough to identify trends and balance. You can't master a topic without playing it extensively and that's what the player are paying for, not what the developers are paid for :)


In theory this is correct. But in reality, back when Infinite Odyssey was designed, your first option ("I need more Xp at my usual spot ...") is what happened - the developers were placating the majority.

I remember a photo of a developer who had the poll thread open on his computer; they were really reading the suggestions, not only going by the yes/no statistics. Nevertheless the fear of losing old players won over the hope of gaining new ones. This was made worse by the fact that potential new players could not vote/post; you needed an account for that. So the old players with vested interests were a priori in the majority.

The player polling that started yesterday is insofar different as there are no pre-formulated options you can vote for. Players must actually write up some text if they want to win a +6 Eternal Set. So theoretically suggestions like your second option ("The Tyrr Warrior totems are a binary approach to a lack of damage of a whole archetype ...") could come forth. The problem is that Korean players generally don't much care about class balance. They do have class-specific forums, but what people are discussing there mostly circles around equipment; skills are barely ever mentioned:
http://lineage2.plaync.com/board/class/ ... iasName=10
(one reason could be that people who play a science fiction game like EvE Online are more mathematically inclined than people who read "The Lord of the Rings" and saw "Record of Lodoss War" in their youth)

You are absolutely right - nothing can beat real life experience when you are talking about perspective and reflexion, especially in Korea where players must be at least 18 years old to play the game and almost all of the male players (and of course also the developers) have done military service. This should make them experts in Sieges and other forms of mass PvP, and during the Bartz Liberation War the old strategies from 1950 (splitting up enemy forces, 20 No-Graders slaughtering 1 A-Grader ...) were very successfully employed. But nowadays Lineage 2 is mostly about items. Your skills can be as powerful as you like, but at the end of the day it's a Seven Signs SA with unblockable Stun vs. Boss Jewel with Stun Cleansing:
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=1514&start=70#p31994

Insofar this whole clas balance attempt is a bit pointless. I do like your idea of something like "Detect Knight Weakness". That'*s similar to the "Detect Plant Weakness" of a Gladiator and absolutely makes sense. But as far as the other class archetypes are concerned, in the way the game was originally designed Healers are supposed to heal, not to kill. Tanks are supposed to get hit, not to hit others. If you make all classes good at PvP, you are back at the unified muddle of GoD.
(This does of course not mean that Healers should be one-shot by any wombat with a Kelbim bow :D )
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Re: Helios

Postby Pretume » Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:35 am

I don't know whether are lazy developers or just the fact that there are too much variables in L2 which makes it impossible to balance things properly. But the failure to deal with a holy trinity based game at least for L2 may be making other devs of NC to get rid of this paradigm: no healer-no tanker-no buffer-all classes are DPS (GW2, B&S and LE are examples).

And I agree with this line of reasoning, if you can't deal with holy trinity just don't do it, otherwise the game will be born as a mess and will die as a mess.

Someday I will miss a holy Trinity MMO with so many new games getting rid of it for the sake of making things easier to balance.
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Re: Helios

Postby Elmar » Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:22 am

I thinkk that the problem is that there are too many variables in L2. This was the reason behind the class unification that was brought about by GoD. Remember, back in High Five the developers published Excel graphics that showed how some classes were greatly preferred over others (like Koreans played much more Prophets than Doomcryers). For that reason they introduced a special buff in Dragon Valley which you only got when you took unliked classes in your party.

Back then they had 200 people in the Development Department. Now they are down to 27. What they wrote on the event page about being able to deal with only a few classes per update is simply a result of the December 2012 layoffs. You never get something for nothing, and if NCsoft really wanted to balance a highly complex class system like in L2 they would have to hire more like 300 developers :D


@ Laby:
I sent BusterCasey (a Korean-speaking moderator on the official forum) a PM, linking him your post and suggesting that NCWest run a similar event. Over here we have certainly more people interested in class balance than in Korea and some of them might even be able to provide useful input. Buster said he would look into it :)
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Re: Helios

Postby Laby » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:51 am

Elmar wrote:@ Laby:
I sent BusterCasey (a Korean-speaking moderator on the official forum) a PM, linking him your post and suggesting that NCWest run a similar event. Over here we have certainly more people interested in class balance than in Korea and some of them might even be able to provide useful input. Buster said he would look into it :)

Interesting ! Let's see how it'll go
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