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Monday, 6th August, 2012, 07:21 AM #61
You really are presuming a correlation between balanced and boring that simply isn't true. Plenty of games have pulled off both balanced and interesting at the same time. Heck, even 3.5E has plenty of classes that fit both criteria. Most of my favorite classes from that edition also tended to be the well-balanced ones. It is the boring classes that tend to be the broken ones (either too weak or too strong).
An ideal game is full of options that are both fun and well-balanced. In fact, I think that fun and interesting requires an balance in order to exist. The elements necessary to create a balanced class tend to make the class more fun and quirky.
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Monday, 6th August, 2012, 07:24 AM #62
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
Balance discussions get troublesome quickly because there's that underlying current that anyone who might want a balanced game is some kind of wuss who can't handle any hint of a challenge, while, conversely, anyone that might argue against balance is just trying to get a game that he can abuse to get an advantage. Elitism vs self-righteousness. Not very constructive, and missing the point of balance, which is neither to protect players from themselves, nor from eachother.
Ultimately, balance isn't about how good or bad, smart or stupid, honest or conniving the players are - it's about how the game is designed, and that's all. A well-balanced game will simply have more usable content than a badly balanced one, whether that's because the badly-balanced game has a lot of mostly-worthless content (trap choices), or because it's just lacking in much content at all (lack of meaningful choices).
(I suppose I shouldn't go out on a limb and declare more meaningful/viable choices 'better' lest someone come back with some kind of 'less is more' thing...)
Monday, 6th August, 2012, 07:35 AM #63
Also, I don't consider simulation to be a laudable goal for an RPG. I don't see how it is supposed to help beginners either when the main effect of ability scores is to screw over players who aren't masters of the rules. They also artificially limit the number of viable character archetypes (where are the smart and suave fighters?).
They need a complete overhaul from the ground up. Their entire place in D&D, from how you calculate them, to what they do, and what stats are even represented, need to be called into question. At a very fundamental level, ability scores are anathema to a class-based RPG like D&D. You need to heavily sacrifice one or the other to get them to work.If you're saying that not enough was done to make them all useful, that's true. Dump stats are too prevalent. The 5e six saves policy is a decent step; there's more that could be done there.
It would be the best if all classes had equal overall power. Merely being viable would be an acceptable, but inferior, alternative. If the designers aren't trying to make all D&D classes equal in strength to each other, they are doing something very, very, very wrong. Falling short of that goal of class equality would be a legitimate source of complaints against an RPG that uses a class-based system.Well, yes, but if you're talking about viability, and not equivalency, that's very different. For example, the 3.X NPC classes (expert, warrior, commoner, artistocrat, adept) are not even close to being equal to the PC classes, but in most games, they're probably viable. The post I've been quoting talks about every choice been equal, not viable. Big difference
Monday, 6th August, 2012, 07:51 AM #64
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
I'd like the game to be tight enough to work and loose enough that it doesn't feel like I'm wearing a straight jacket.
Monday, 6th August, 2012, 07:52 AM #65
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
Monday, 6th August, 2012, 07:58 AM #66
Guide (Lvl 11)
Monday, 6th August, 2012, 08:09 AM #67
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
Monday, 6th August, 2012, 08:13 AM #68
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Both 3rd and 4th had too much worthless content in regards to feats, for instance. 3rd had too many silly spells and 4th had way too many classes (which I think drifted towards the lack of real choice towards the end).
For me "balance" is about creating rules which enable a transparent and equal starting point for different classes - which then can be altered by the choices made by the DM and players with regards to what sort of adventures and campaigns they undertake. But I dont think that purposefully large imbalances with respect to classes is a good starting point.
Monday, 6th August, 2012, 08:22 AM #69
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
Monday, 6th August, 2012, 08:34 AM #70
Magsman (Lvl 14)
4E basically assumed that people were playing optimized 3E, and so ditched Wands of Cure Light Wounds and instead introduced healing surges - to retain the ability to start every combat at full health, but also make it impossible to run like the energizer bunny. It removed the mandatory items "for math" to the weapon, armor and defense items and gave every other type of item minor (and, to be frank, often boring) powers.
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