D&D 5th Edition How much should 5e aim at balance? - Page 2


What's on your mind?

+ Log in or register to post
Page 2 of 76 FirstFirst 12345678910111252 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 757
  1. #11
    I think balance is really overrated, but you need something.

    Back in AD&D and AD&D2, the classes were not balanced in combat as they are in 4th ed, but none of us noticed. The Wizard could do a lot but he needed to be able to cover an extremely wide variety of situations.

    In other words, if the Wizard took nothing but direct damage spells, he'd be considered a pretty poor wizard. You needed all sorts of stuff to make it through an adventure, stuff like Comprehend Languages, etc....

    The fighter didn't have the same burst-damage the Wizard did, but he was *always* useful. Yes, he could only swing his sword, but there was always something in combat that needed a sword swung at it.

    Every edition of D&D appeals to me, for different reasons, but I think it's possible to focus too much on Balance.
    Priest: A Fantasy Hardboiled. Download the sample to your Kindle or free Kindle app!

    "Lean and compassionate." -Tim Denee

 

  • #12
    Community Supporter COPPER SUBSCRIBER
    Guide (Lvl 11)

    Jester Canuck's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    2,228
    Reviews
    Read 7 Reviews
    Blog Entries
    2
    RavenloftGygax Memorial FundI Defended The Walls!

    Ignore Jester Canuck
    I can't think about many RPGs that worry about balance as much as D&D. Most new games, even ENnie winning and nominated RPGs don't worry about balance as much as D&D. The history of imbalance has made D&Ders terrified of imbalance. The idea of imbalance is the boogieman DMs use to frighten their players. The terrifying spectre designers use to justify sweeping changes.

    Is balance important?
    Yes.
    Absolutely yes.

    But it's tricky. Perfect balance is an impossible dream. Even rock paper scissors isn't absolutely perfect. All things being equal, people lean towards rock. When playing a stranger, play paper and avoid scissors and your odds increase. (Except in an environment like GenCon where people are more likely to know game theory and avoid rock, in which case, play scissors.)

    1e-2e tried for campaign balance, where you were weaker or stronger depending on the level and low powered characters grew into more powerful options. 3e tried a little more to have party balance; the PCs as a group were balanced against their opponents. 4e tried for encounter balance, where PCs were balanced over the course of the encounter.

    They could go for round balance, where PCs are equal each round. But that might be even more restrictive than 4e.
    That kind of design just favours the people who can game the system: there will always be options a hair better.

    Perfect balance is unsatisfying. Even for optimized. If every option is perfectly balanced, optimizes lose what brings them joy: building powerful characters. And the limits placed to prevent accidentally designing an ineffective character (another form of imbalance) stifle creativity.

    I think 5e's going for daily balance, where things even out over the course of the day. I'm cool with that. It allows them to design elements that allow players to shine in individual encounters. They can make unbalanced or powerful elements but limit them, so they character is average the rest of the time.
    My gaming Webcomic 5 Minute Workday at www.5mwd.com

  • #13
    Registered User
    Spellbinder (Lvl 16)

    Ahnehnois's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    6,708
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Ahnehnois
    My communities:

    Quote Originally Posted by n00bdragon View Post
    When I buy a game off the shelf I do not balance things and the idea that I should is pretty insulting to me as a customer.
    I find it rather insulting when some game designer presumes they know my DMing style and my group (i.e. the things that have to be balanced) better than I do.
    "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose"

  • #14
    Registered User
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

    Lanefan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    5,300
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Lanefan
    Coarse balance is fine - over the long run, everyone comes out about equal. Someone shines in one adventure, someone else the next...great!

    Fine-tuned balance is both pointless and unrealistic - going for equal "contribution" (whatever that is) every round, or equal damage output, or equal ability to engage in a social scene: all those are suckers' games for the designers.

    Lanefan
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    DM: Telenet 1984-1994, Riveria 1995-2007, Decast 2008 -->
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  • #15
    Registered User
    Gallant (Lvl 3)



    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Montreal, Qc
    Posts
    90
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore The Choice
    Balance, in a cooperative, collaborative, social activity like D&D is crucial. It allows for everyone around the table (or across the internet) to share the same basic expectations for their usefulness in the game.

    An imbalanced game is also much more of a hassle to DM because challenges you create have to take into account the "guy who can do everything by snapping his finger" and the "guy who's really strong": make a challenge fit for guy (or girl) #1 , and everybody else in the party risks dying. Make a challenge fit for guy (or girl) #2 , and everything seems to easy because #1 is around.

    In short, balance makes (or at least attempts, perfect balance is really difficult to attain. Ask anybody working in the field of computer game design, especially MMOs and RTSs) all characters equal before the rule system and eases the job for those who wish to run such games.

  • #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    I find it rather insulting when some game designer presumes they know my DMing style and my group (i.e. the things that have to be balanced) better than I do.
    If you really feel this way, then why are you here on the D&D Next forum? If you are so sure in your belief that you could make something better for your group than any designer can, then why are you getting involved in the market for a new game being made by game designers?

    If you really feel this way, then you are not the target market for a published product. Perhaps you should consider stepping away from conversations that mostly concern potential customers of said published product.

  • #17
    Registered User
    Gallant (Lvl 3)



    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Montreal, Qc
    Posts
    90
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore The Choice
    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    I find it rather insulting when some game designer presumes they know my DMing style and my group (i.e. the things that have to be balanced) better than I do.
    They can't (presume, that is). That's kind of the point.

    So either they try to take into considerations EVERY conceivable playstyle (an impossible task for a game as wide-reaching as D&D, but that could be achieved by a very targetted, niche game) or the designers must abstract a sort of "expected" middleground.

    This middleground might not suit you, but it's fairly easy to just break it by fiddling with it. On the other hand, bringing a game wildly (or even slightly) out of balance back to the middleground is a lot of work that shouldn't be expected from GMs (especially inexperienced or new ones).

  • #18
    Registered User
    Spellbinder (Lvl 16)

    Ahnehnois's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    6,708
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Ignore Ahnehnois
    My communities:

    If you really feel this way, then why are you here on the D&D Next forum? If you are so sure in your belief that you could make something better for your group than any designer can, then why are you getting involved in the market for a new game being made by game designers?

    If you really feel this way, then you are not the target market for a published product. Perhaps you should consider stepping away from conversations that mostly concern potential customers of said published product.
    I like having rulebooks on hand; it saves me time and effort as it is easier to houserule a system than write one. I could stand to have a better set of rules to work off of.

    I also think the hobby as a whole matters, and want to be sure that other people are exposed to the full depth of rpgs can be.

    Yours is a rather absurd statement given this earlier post:
    Quote Originally Posted by TwinBahamut View Post
    Anything better than 3E's atrocious level of balance would be a good start. Editions prior to 4E, and 3E in particular, are some of the least-balanced games of all time. Acknowledging that problem and being willing to make significant change to the game's traditions to correct that balance is important. Talking about the impossibility of "perfect" balance or the best definition of balance is missing the point when discussing a game that has historically been utterly broken regarding any possible definition of balance.
    If you so explicitly dislike D&D, why are you posting here? This is a D&D forum.
    "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose"

  • #19
    Registered User
    Magsman (Lvl 14)

    howandwhy99's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    SE WI
    Posts
    4,928
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews
    Blog Entries
    101

    Ignore howandwhy99
    Balance should be about enabling and supporting DM balancing, not a thing that limits the malleability of the game.

    If groups don't want balance at all, they can just skip it. For those who do, provide an understanding of why the rules have been designed such as they have. Then lend assistance in supporting balance in many the many different ways people may want the game balanced.

    Some want the game balanced by the combat encounter. Adventure length balancing has been brought up. We could even have 30 second turns as an option for a type of spotlight balance.

    With such support then DMs and groups could pick and choose what kind they want or even if they want purposefully unbalanced play (for harder combats for example).
    Playing a game is a study. Storytelling is personal composition.

  • #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    I like having rulebooks on hand; it saves me time and effort as it is easier to houserule a system than write one. I could stand to have a better set of rules to work off of.
    Then why don't you let the game be balanced for people who want that kind of balance, and gleefully houserule in your imbalance?

    I also think the hobby as a whole matters, and want to be sure that other people are exposed to the full depth of rpgs can be.
    Wait, you actually think it's okay to want to dictate how other people play their game even for a product you don't purchase yourself? Seriously?

    Anyways, a lack of balance, pretty much by defintion, means that the game has less depth. A poorly balanced game has no depth. There are the good options, that everyone who knows anything about the system should take, and the bad options that no one should take. Imbalance removes all real complexity, variety, and skill from the game. If you want RPGs to have depth, then balance is absolutely critical.

    Yours is a rather absurd statement given this earlier post:
    If you so explicitly dislike D&D, why are you posting here? This is a D&D forum.
    Who said I disliked D&D? This is silly. I mean, for one thing, as some of you are so quick to point out you can still manage to have fun with an imbalanced game. It's harder, but not impossible (playing Tome of Battle characters and Warlocks in 3E helps a lot). Also, 4E is fun, totally an edition of D&D, is certainly balanced, and was explicitly omitted from my comments.

    Unless I missed a memo that mentioned how ENWorld was formally transformed into a forum for core-only 3E fans with no 4E discussion allowed, then I think I'm fine here. It's not like I read or post in anything but the 5E forum here, anyways...

  • + Log in or register to post
    Page 2 of 76 FirstFirst 12345678910111252 ... LastLast

    Similar Threads

    1. Could We Have Some Balance Please
      By KarinsDad in forum Older D&D Editions and OSR Gaming
      Replies: 1
      Last Post: Sunday, 15th January, 2012, 11:39 AM
    2. Replies: 39
      Last Post: Wednesday, 2nd July, 2008, 12:15 AM
    3. Players Handbook II feats and balance (whatever balance means)
      By kobold in forum Older D&D Editions and OSR Gaming
      Replies: 2
      Last Post: Wednesday, 14th June, 2006, 08:18 PM
    4. PRC to Balance
      By Cannonfodder in forum Older D&D Editions and OSR Gaming
      Replies: 0
      Last Post: Saturday, 20th August, 2005, 02:21 PM
    5. How *do* I balance this?
      By CerberusAOD in forum Older D&D Editions and OSR Gaming
      Replies: 5
      Last Post: Friday, 23rd August, 2002, 03:14 PM

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •