[MUD-Dev] Balancing Melee vs Ranged Combat in Games Which Mod el Space

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
Wed Apr 4 13:52:17 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


On 04 April 2001 04:52, Brian Hook wrote:

> Deer vs. bow.  Deer loses.

> ...

> My point is that, traditionally, ranged weapons have a huge
> advantage over melee weapons.  The further away your enemy is when
> you harm him, the better off your chances of survival.  If you can
> hurt him while he can't hurt you, you have a serious advantage.
 
> So there are really two options here: model things in a way that is
> tactically realistic, or model things such that "all fights are
> fair" or, put another way, "things are balanced".  I'm not very fond
> of the latter, I would prefer to have it balanced some other way.

My issue with all fights not being fair, is that if you design the
game to facilitate solo play people will only pick fights that are
unfair, but to their advantage. They will just optimise their play for
maximum gain.

To just acknowledge that certain abilities make certain fights
'unbalanced' is fine if you decide that soloing isn't going to be
possible. If it is, you are setting yourself up for whingeing if some
classes can unless you make it very clear to the players before they
roll up, and even then... Most of these games require massive
investment in building a character so people really do get wrapped up
in 'balance' issues.

I just feel that facilitating soloing is working in the opposite
direction to class interdependance and perceived balance. Trading
soloing ability with grouping ability is inherently flawed as it
dictates play style and by the time a player realises the full impact
of such a fundamental choice, its probably too late.

As an aside maybe ranged users should just be able to perch on an
inaccessible rock and snipe. If you didn't have static spawns, they'd
run out of mobs very quickly. In EQ, archery is a joke (unless you
like taking 2 hours and 20k arrows to kill something) and spell kiting
is pretty similar to the perch. The problem though is that they
throttled it with mana, which whilst limiting soloing, doesn't scale
well to groups. As I mentioned in the original post, tanks are
throttled by hp, but since generally only one is getting hit and
requiring healing resources adding another doesn't add any down time,
it just cuts it. Casters with a simple mana pool merely add another
throttle to the groups progress.

I just hope that the next generation of games pays enough attention to
a classes group scalability in terms of dmg/time as I think its
something thats been neglected so far.

Dan
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