D&D 5E You Cant Fix The Class Imbalances IMHO

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I mean, it was called the sweet spot because it was the range of levels where the game worked best, or, really, worked at all.

There's no way functionality is a bad thing to design in.
You'd think so. But history seems to show otherwise, at least for one or two definitions of "bad".

But, markets are funny, and human nature is even funnier. If for whatever reason, your customers would feelzbad if high level play actually worked or classes were actually balanced, well, you have to cater to it... You're a business, businesses cater to customers to make profits, within the limits of the law. If catering to one set of customers makes more money than catering to another, and catering to both is not an option, you pick the more lucrative market.
That's definitely what I meant by it being a mistake. I mean, I liked 4e's balance. And its later monsters. Some of its earlier math wasn't the best.

...it'd be interesting to dig into why (some) D&Ders hate balance, tho...
Oh yeah! That would be interesting.
is it just being accustomed to it's absence for so many years of the game's history? Is it the prospect of losing hard-won system mastery? Is it the 'revenge of the nerds' theory that gamers identify with bookish wizards and nurse school-days grudges against the 'jock' fighter?

.... :unsure:
Good question.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
If for whatever reason, your customers would feelzbad...

Mod Note:

You seem to very much want to describe people in a condescending manner - you were warned once in this thread about how you speak about people, but you persist. So, you are now done in this conversation.

The bar we set is not high. Please step over it.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
People can definitely keep playing games they find an unbalanced mess (ask any League of Legends player).
But usually only if thy get to play the unbalanced part.
Look at the card game Hearthstone. Back in its highest peaks,it was big but unbalanced. People grumbled but they all played. Sure if your favorite class was weak, you could run a strong deck your second or third favorite class with your back up cards and a bit of dust.

Then the cheap decks stopped being the powerful ones. OR even the decent ones. Only the strong P2W or brain dead decks were top tier.

That's the thing. People only tolerate the unbalance when its their favor.

And in order to halt dropping numbers, Blizzard had to define what the classes' tropes, strengths, and weaknesses are and enforce them.

What makes D&D unique amongst class based games is TSR's and WOTC's unwillingness to officially define and enforce. This is especially egregious in 5e with its slow schedule and "no new class" policy.

You can fix the class imbalance without rewriting 5e. It however requires identifying what each class does, what challenges it is good at, and which challenges it is bad at. Then reinforcing it.

You cannot say X is good at A, B, and C but has trouble with D and E then give it a subclass that gives it a good D and E value (the main tropes of Y) and a subclass that mimics the all the best parts of F (the unique feature of Z).
 

You can fix the class imbalance without rewriting 5e. It however requires identifying what each class does, what challenges it is good at, and which challenges it is bad at. Then reinforcing it.

You cannot say X is good at A, B, and C but has trouble with D and E then give it a subclass that gives it a good D and E value (the main tropes of Y) and a subclass that mimics the all the best parts of F (the unique feature of Z).
Agreed. It's tough to enhance the fighter with Exploration pillar abilities when you just feat or MC into ranger or barbarian.
 

ECMO3

Hero
There were also low level spells with no save.

They were but those were not very powerful

Your ability scores could definitely increase. There were items that did it permanently or while you had the item, you'd encounter environments that did. Some DMs liked that more than others and, like, don't write anything about your character in pen. ;)

Yes, but you rolled ability scores. Your average human Magic User probably had a 14 or 15 Intelligence and it would go up, but there were not generally enough items to bring it up to an 18 or more. Illusionists were a bit higher on average, but they did not have 8th or 9th level spells.

Also keep in mind you could permanently lose points in both intelligence and other stats as well.

For whatever reason, the INT table in the PH(1978) went up to 19.

Yes, but I believe all 1978 races were capped at 18 except for Half Orcs which were lower. Later races like Drow and Gray Elves could go higher I think (not positive).

But there was a reason the Circle of Eight were all wizards. ;)

And there is a reason they were NPCs :p
 

Aldarc

Legend
People can definitely keep playing games they find an unbalanced mess (ask any League of Legends player).
I think that there is a fairly important difference of sorts that rarely factors into the comparisons between imbalance in computer games and in TTRPGs. Computer games get live updates. TTRPGs don't really get these sort of updates or at least not to the same degree as games. An asymmetric unbalanced meta can be a good thing in computer/video games; however, this is predicated on a changing meta. This is to say, the benefit of imbalance is the discovery of new metas and how those new metas, often but not always, result in seeing the play of a wide range of player options. Metas often change as a result of developer updates, including overhauls of player options. An unbalanced game that doesn't receive updates that change the metas around can be pretty dead. (Yes, I am aware that exceptions exist.)
 
Last edited:

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I think that there is a fairly important difference of sorts that rarely factors into the comparisons between imbalance in computer games and in TTRPGs. Computer games get live updates. TTRPGs don't really get these sort of updates or at least not to the same degree as games. An asymmetric unbalanced meta can be a good thing in computer/video games; however, this is predicated on a changing meta. This is to say, the benefit of imbalance is the discovery of new metas and how those new metas, often but not always, result in seeing the play of a wide range of player options. Metas often change as a result of developer updates, including overhauls of player options. An unbalanced game that doesn't receive updates that change the metas around can be pretty dead. (Yes, I am aware that exceptions exist.)
Very well-said.

Dynamic imbalance is a solution to the problem of degenerate solutions, especially in competitive gaming like LoL. By inducing breakdowns in dominant strategy and creating potential for surprise reversals (e.g. some player finds the next big uncounterable awesome obscure combo), you turn the game into one where there are at least three strategic layers all affecting one another. The actual gameplay of each individual player; the interactions between both teammates and opponents (e.g. synergies and counters); and the fully meta-gameplay of seeking out new ways (builds, team comps, etc.) to subvert the previous.

Even 4e, which had robust errata support to address the occasional loophole that got through testing (e.g. that one Ranger power that could theoretically do infinite damage if you kept rolling high enough and thus could be cheesed with excessive +hit bonuses), was too slow on updates to support this approach to the problems of dominant strategy and degeneracy in the solution space. If the "dynamic" part isn't actually dynamic, the approach fails.

Yet another reason why actually having rigorous testing, and before that, setting testable and well-crafted design goals, is so important for TTRPG design.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top