Baseline for Balacing in BBB?

This might be coming a bit late, but to balance anything in this game requires a baseline to somehow quantify the changes. Usually I would take the ingame difficulty as baseline for balancing. Taking the highest or most played difficulty seems reasonable, but it will also lead to some missing balance on difficulties below.

Now V2 is a bit problematic, since there are paywalled difficulties that have a consistent playerbase, but it does not necessarily mean to represent the majority.

Recently I posted a small poll on reddit asking which difficulty the balance should revolve. The Poll (login to see results). And a majority opted for either Legend or Legend & Cata.

Now 300 people will barely represent the whole community, but still the main argumentation I saw, was that the game should be balanced around the highest non-paywalled difficulty.

Personally I use cataclysm as baseline, but I wondered where the developers or active players of this forum set their baseline.

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65% Legend 35% Cata for me

I think things need to be balanced for the highest official difficulty, which is Cataclysm. If things work there, they also work on Legend. That’s not automatically true the other way around, however.

But a better question would be: Which class / weapon is the baseline “power level”? Whether something needs a buff or a nerf depends completely on your frame of reference. Does class A need to be brought up to the level of class B, or does class B need to be brought down to that of class A? For the sake of constructive balance discussion, I wish we could at least agree on the frame of reference.

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This. I’m saying this as someone who mostly plays Legend.
I mean, almost any build could work on Legend, but it’s not the same way for Cataclysm.

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I salute to the 36 other people on reddit who voted for Cataclysm only. Since it’s the only reasonable answer.

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This exactly.

Every weapon should be viable on every difficulty, so balancing in this regard, yes balance around cataclysm.

The other question is what is the baseline? balancing is always gonna be done around the highest level of play, but this doesn’t answer the question of : around what baseline?
Then again, that is a very hard question to ask, even with a poll. (as playstyles, comps, vary)

edit: for clarity; with “highest level of play” i mean highest vanilla difficulty. (no twitch, deeds, weeklies)

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This is why in the rebalance mod our baseline was essentially what was meta for each character in cataclysm

we tried to bring everything to just shy of meta strength as reasonably as we could

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May i ask a follow up question?

Aren’t meta builds, builds that can deal with everything? So by using that as the baseline and bringing everything barely below it, wouldn’t that make alot of builds too strong and remove a specific niche and become overall good?

Or do you think talents are the biggest offenders of making something too strong?

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I think half the issue is the way Cata is designed, by changing the Ratio’s of enemies AND their baseline HP and mass you create a situation where anything that cant handle masses of elites is no longer viable.

In legend you can absolutely be weak vs elites and leave that job to someone else, seperate jobs means good teamwork. In Cata everyone needs to be able to handle everything, individuals lose their identity.

I think its too much to ask for a Cata redesign at this point, but i’d love to see the philosophy of the difficulty changed so that what is required from the players is the same as legend but executed perfectly, rather than a whole different strategy.

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It’s a case by case basis and we treated it as such

we also focused a lot on weapon identity and what we perceived to be the intended role/design of the weapon

Edit: and yeah talents have a massive impact for sure but talent balance was outside the scope of the mod, we took considerations of how talents/careers may impact weapons but we didn’t let it be a dictatorial factor

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Issue is that nothing happens in a vacuum.

Nerfing weapons one way or the other, imo, isn’t a good idea, because some classes have so much specialisation that said weapon becomes abusive. So a nerf to ton down the abuse ends up harming the other builds.

Nerfing the classes on the other hand, takes away their flavor and what makes them unique and fun to play.

In the end, I think things should be balanced by the top. Otherwise everything crumbles once you add an extra step above and only the abusive builds remain.
I’d also like to point out that making everything viable for Cata doesn’t mean making the game easier.
It means that some weapons that are objectively really bad in all regards need to be brought up to equal the better ones.

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That is essentially what we did in the mod, yes, whilst taking care for overperformers and outliers

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I agree.
I am of the opinion that everything should be done at the same time in a BIG balance beta.

But, i also understand that is impossible to do and is a very big task. So if splitting the balance up in multiple parts helps fatshark, then i’m fine.

Still wondering what will happen when they address traits or adress some talents on certain careers which enable alot of weapons.
because i think the majority of players have been testing weapons with swift slaying active and on certain careers only.

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I am on your site as well. Sooner or later weapon traits and properties will be reworked, since a lot of them just go unused or only for niche builds. It’s hard to balance everything at once, but I hope that, if they are reworked it won’t make current changes meaningless.

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All the level 5 THP and level 15 stagger talents need to be re-worked at the same time as the weapons to make the re-balanced weapons viable on all classes. Single target weapons are optimally used with THP on kill and Smiter and some classes (Unchained, Ranger Veteran, and Footknight) don’t have acccess to these. This issue has been discussed extensively in other threads. I hope the re-balance addresses this problem.

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I agree with you mostly, but I do like that Cata requires a different approach, even if Legend doesn’t really prepare most players at all for how to deal with hordes on Cata.

I think at least 80 % of thought should go for cataclysm. However I don’t agree that simply balancing for cataclysm means that legend and everything under is automatically balanced.
Something that is perfectly tuned for cata might just be super overpowered in legend because the health points difference between the 2 difficulties is pretty massive.
(Just by frequenting some topics you can see this where some argue for cata and others think its fine because they play legend and vice versa)

So how do we deal those issues without also impacting the tight balance of cataclysm is something i really have no answer but legend is still the difficulty that most of the players play at or strive for AND it is not behind a paywall so it cannot be just ignored either.

Anything over cata be it weaves, twitch, mods, etc should have no impact on balancing decisions. Those are purposefully challenge mods and realistically only tiny % even in these forums frequent these modes.

Also @TmanDW makes an excellent point about class / weapon baseline power which i think is actually even more important question at this point.

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I’m not sure this is true. Do you have an example?

I really don’t since i don’t exactly play legend but for sake of theoretical example of a weapon that 2 shots some elite in cata with light attacks, it would now 1 shot nearly every type of enemy if it was to be passed into legend.
Someone who plays more legend would have to give a actual example if there is any but i really could see some weapon values or talent powers to be perfectly acceptable in cata where more stuff is happening compared to legend.

I think this is just an issue with where the balancing baseline is. If fatshark thinks oneshotting elites in the body with a sniper is the baseline in legend, then that’s fine.

Why not join the Fatshark Discord https://discord.gg/K6gyMpu