Post by Abashira
The problem is actually not class
balance; It is spec
balance, as I'll try to show here.
(See closing thoughts below)
To illustrate, let's use cars as an example. Most of us use or are familiar with cars. So this makes them a good example.
In the real world of motor vehicles we have three levels.
1. The COMPANY may be General Motors. But let's use Ford for our example (If you hate ford then interject your favorite), And in this illustration, Ford owns several BRANDS: i.e. Jaguar, Volvo, Honda, Lincoln, etc. We could imagine a vehicle manufacturer named Blizzard Inc., who owns Wow Motors.
2. BRANDS. For this illustration let's imagine that one company buys and owns Toyota, Porsche, Mac, And John Deere. This is not unreasonable as the vehicle family tree changes yearly as companies buy one another out. (see family tree below) So brands are the vehicle 'classes.'http://cache.jalopnik.com/assets/images/gallery/12/2008/03/thumb1280x1280_2364177540_0e30819365_o.jpg
3. Now we get to the MODELS. Within the model level we have: Commuter Sedans, Utility Vehicles, SUVs, Stock Racing Cars, Heavy Machinery (bull dozers), etc. Each of these is according to their 'specialization.'
Take a little while to ponder this and get it clearly into your mind's eye. This is the way it really works in the vehicle world.
Now for the next part of the illustration, let's imagine that ALL the different models are connected to a central computer that can change how each car operates.
In the real world all the car models are viewed separately, and they are designed and tweaked separately. What would happen though if the SUV owners complained to the company that their vehicles were insufficient in power, and couldn't climb hills and obstacles like advertised and intended—so in response the company sent out a blanket patch to ALL the model's internal computers to give them all more power, in order to fix ONE model? We should be able to see how this is applying to world of warcraft imbalance already.
In any car company there may be many product lines. But they are all viewed separately. A stock sports car is designed to be fast and furious! And design and development (DEVS) work on the stock car by itself to make fast. It would be foolish to apply the same changes to a family or commuter sedan, just because it's part of the same brand! It would offset the balance, because a commuter sedan is just not built to be aerodynamic at high speeds—and now you have people getting hurt and killing others, because their car is OP for it's design! It would be equally nonsense to lower the power of a MAC truck, just because the sedan is too over powered (OP)! or to make the sedan frail and underpowered because a bull dozer is too tough.
Another note to consider on stock race cars is that - because all stock cars are tweaked and designed in line with their specialization, all racing cars compete within exact mechanical tolerances, and finish races within seconds of one another. Often times a race is won because another car made a bad turn and lost time (fractions of a second), and the winner made no mistake; but the cars are tuned so closely that another car could just as well have won if they played it right. Isn't THAT the kind of balance we want to see, where it takes skill to pull out ahead; and not because we were better by design?
The solution is extremely simple, by default of the fact that they are all completely separate from one another, and therefor worked on separately. By default of this fact, one design suffers due to changes to another class of vehicle.
Let's use just one more illustration.
Seeing I design boats…
All boats are different by design. The general rule is that you can't have a boat that is both perfectly fast, and perfectly stable. You have to compromise somewhere in between. But the way to do this is not to change ALL the boat models together just because one needs a change; that would just be stupid!
A boat may be designed to be ultra-stable; but it will be very slow and lack maneuverability. Inversely, the cost of a racing boat's speed is stability, and again, some degree of maneuverability. And to get a boat that is very maneuverable, you have to sacrifice some speed and some stability. You can get more speed in any model, at the equal and opposite cost of some stability. No matter what you want to improve it will be sacrificing something. This is why a boat built for ultimate speed is extremely unstable (tips easily at slow speeds) and lacks maneuverability, etcetera.
But suppose the boat companies viewed all models as one; instead of completely separate like they actually do. So customers complain to the company: "I went on a camping trip and I loaded my boat up with supplies, and the darned thing kept tipping over! FIX IT!" Another unsatisfied customer writes "I bagged a moose, and your stupid boat couldn't handle the load as advertised!" So the company "fixes" ALL boats by making them wider. Meanwhile people are suddenly losing races because it screwed up the race boats, because the race boats didn't need to be wider! This wouldn't happen is boats were designed separately… and that is why they don't have that problem!
We could go on with the boat illustration. There are three shapes, Fish Form (wider at front), Asymmetrical (wide in the center), and Swede Form (wider at the back, or aft). And then there other properties like keel lines, which make a boat track well. And you have numerous hull shapes and buoyancies.
Imagine a Touring Kayak model is having tracking problems out at sea. So the company puts a sharper keel line on ALL models. Now whitewater kayakers can't turn quickly, and fall off in the dangerous rocky whitewater rapids! And it would be a total noob design to try to make a boat wide at both ends. One of the three "specs" (forms) only applies to a particular design. You can't fix a hull or form issue by changing all models, and you can't make them all the same… before every design is a log! And everyone floating on a log would be boring. This is the problem with Rogues in MOP thus far, they're all to similar. It's like driving a log.
Blizzard's problem is that they treat specialization (model) problems like it's a class (brand) problem. It's just plain stupid, and after seven years (or more) they still haven't figured this out.
— Tanks are Mac Trucks, and Heavy Machinery Bull Dozers, and Sherman Tanks.
— DPS are Sports Cars and boats, Stock Cars, and rely on BURST! Other DPS are SUVS, and they rely on consistency, stability, and power.
— Healers? Well they're like Utility Vehicles. Ambulances, Fire Trucks, And Power Line Vehicles, things like these. Very bad stability, balanced power, not very fast; but they serve their purpose perfectly.
— Hybrids? Well, if one of the three specs were dedicated to being hybrid, or a 4th spec were designed for hybrid classes. But it will never work if they are melded into the mechanics of the other specs.
_________________________________________________A Balanced Game Begins With Balanced Thinking
What would happen if Blizzard redesigned by Specialization/Model instead of Class/Brand?
The forums are filled with complaints about the cheap, lazy, blanket DPS and Heals changes that nerf one spec just because another spec is OP. To the person who just got out of a BG where it took a raid group to take down a Priest, they will yell "Priests are too OP! NERF PRIESTS!" But that's the thoughts of someone who doesn't understand the Priest class, and probably never plays one enough to understand (I don't play priest; but I listen to them). The Priests shout back "It's NOT a PRIEST problem! It's a DISC Priest problem." Blizzard's "fix" is to make the healing of one spec lower at the expense of nerfing the other two specs. Now you're back at imbalance—this will never ever work.
Same thing with all other specs. "Warriors are too strong and invincible!" people cry. No, it's one spec that is too strong. And all rogues were never OP; it was this spec or that. It's ALWAYS this spec or that that is OP or UP. The Blizzard method of "fixing" the problem is blanket fixes to the class; and not to the spec where the problem is. Why do they do this? Because they are too intertwined and impossible to separate as is. So… change them all for the sake of one and unbalance the rest.
What is that definition of insanity? "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results"?
The problem is that the devs try to fix a class by fixing a mechanic or spell that applies to all specs; but applies to all specs differently. So no matter how many times they tweak a mechanic, it unbalances another spec. So then, to attempt to fix the problem just created, they tweak another mechanic, which only offsets other mechanics, and offsets/imbalances another spec. And this is what they do indefinitely in circular fashion… and the circle of balance creating imbalance never ends this way.
Again, the solution is to separate each spec into separate working models, just like a stock racing car is designed separately from a slow ambulance, utility vehicle, or a powerful SUV, or a Mac truck. They should share similar mechanics; but each and every spell should be different from spec to spec on the code level, just like two cars have a motor; but neither motor is the same from purpose to purpose, and from design to design. You just don't put the same stock racing engine in a suburban family car. And each are worked on differently. Heck, they take different kinds of fuel!
When it is done this way, then PVP Power and Resilience becomes THE only thing that makes a difference between PVP and PVE. But as it is now, evidenced by the mechanic & spell changes they constantly make to try to balance PVP and PVE, it will never work so long as specs share the same spells. If separate spells and specs weren't the problem, they wouldn't have to keep changing them for PVP balance.
Once that is done, then PVP power and Resilience can be changed according to spec so that each spec changes their power and durability separately from PVP arenas and BGs, to PVE raiding and questing NPCs. And the hundreds of spells will need far fewer tweaks once they are balanced.
(On that thought, the sad thing is that many times individual specs have been balanced in the past to the point where that individual spec is neither op or up in PVP or PVE, and is on par with other classes. But that balance is messed up the moment you change one of the other OP or UP specs.)
Balance is achievable this way.
The greatest complaint I foresee is: "That will take too much work for the devs."
To that I can only say, they should have done it in the first place. And that's not our problem; but they make unbalance our problem the way it is. The initial redesign would be a challenge for them; but once the work is done, tweaks to balance would be easy… and wouldn't off balance other balanced
specs. And then the cry of imbalance would cease, or die down to an occasional mechanic bug.
My hope is that the 1. others will grab onto this idea and talk about it; and 2. that devs will read this, meditate, and ponder the illustrations of what works in the real world, and apply it to the World of Warcraft.
Right now I'm taking a little break from Wow, and playing other games. But I'll return soon. I feel the new patch is promising in many ways—especially for the rogues (this is my personal opinion) who couldn't have been broken much more in the MOP release, and just about anything is a fix at this point. I hope this is not in the wrong forum section. I never seem to be able to get that right. But I hope to generate some positive and constructive discussion on this, with minimal trollery.
If you don't like these ideas, please just view it as entertainment, and move along—I don't feel like arguing. The nice thing about eyes and mouths is that we (should) have the ability to control both.
(For those who feel that WoW is a PVE game only… PVP is here to stay. Removing PVP is not the solution, because PVPers make up too much of the user base to consider getting rid of it without breaking the game. I feel these changes could bring the balance that would allow hard core raiders to ignore PVP without feeling a need to wish it away, because PVP will cease to ruin your game—and the balance could even encourage more to like PVP. Believe me, we die hard PVPers don't like our game ruined by PVE either. So this is not about one against the other. That too would not be balanced thinking.)