The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    Gonna chime in from a wargaming perspective here-40k is a hot mess.

    Its imbalance is bad enough that it can impact players in a casual environment. Play Grey Knights, even pretty well, and go up against a competent Tau List? Or a Knights List? Or a Chaos Soup List? Prepare to get buttsmashed.

    But, most games (especially digital ones) that are widely played are balanced ENOUGH. They ain't perfect-but if I went to hang with my buddy and we played Smash Ultimate, we'd have a grand ol' time even if Hero or whoever is better than K. Rool. And he'd probably win-even if he was playing a low-tier character and I was playing a high-tier character. That's just because he's more experienced and better at the game than I am. But it's close enough that we can have fun.

    Also, as others have pointed out, a lot of it won't crop up till you're pretty damn skilled. I guarantee you that if I was still practiced at Skullgirls, I'd crush my friends with any character, but in turn get crushed by a tournament player no matter what characters we picked.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    Wow. That's a lot of information. How do you know all this stuff anyway?
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    Well one thing about chess it's varies. It's can be balanced or unbalanced and take a lot of brain power to plan ahead with your moves in order to checkmate.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    Well one thing about chess it's varies. It's can be balanced or unbalanced
    The game starts with the same board state every single time, so the question is, how?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    take a lot of brain power to plan ahead with your moves in order to checkmate.
    So what? Is a game more or less prone to balancing issues depending on how hard you have to think while you play it?
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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    The game starts with the same board state every single time, so the question is, how?

    So what? Is a game more or less prone to balancing issues depending on how hard you have to think while you play it?
    So my point is it varies between balanced and imbalanced. After all I so know I'll be been playing chess for many years.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    So my point is it varies between balanced and imbalanced. After all I so know I'll be been playing chess for many years.
    Are you talking about variations in player skill? Because if so, the only game you could possibly consider balanced would be one where each player won exactly half the time regardless of all other factors. Such a game would not, in fact, be a game.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinimanMidget View Post
    Are you talking about variations in player skill? Because if so, the only game you could possibly consider balanced would be one where each player won exactly half the time regardless of all other factors. Such a game would not, in fact, be a game.
    Yes that's what I'm talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    The game starts with the same board state every single time, so the question is, how?
    To my understanding, the one point of imbalance in Chess is that the player who goes first has the advantage. Which is kind of inherent to turn-based games in general - going first is usually an advantage, since (broadly speaking) the player going first gets to be the one making their opponent react to their proactive plays. Some turn-based games try to give the player going second some other advantage in other to compensate for this, to varying results, but to my knowledge Chess doesn't.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    Yes that's what I'm talking about.
    Then, as I said earlier, what's your point? Do you want games to be unaffected by player skill?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MinimanMidget View Post
    Then, as I said earlier, what's your point? Do you want games to be unaffected by player skill?
    Yes to make the game balanced.

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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    Yes to make the game balanced.
    That's missing the point of games.

    Here's a balanced game:

    A machine rolls a balanced die randomly. On an even number, I win. On an odd number, you win.

    50/50 win rate over the aggregate no matter what, so long as the rules are followed. (That is, the die is balanced, the machine rolls it randomly, so on and so forth.) Is that a fun game?
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    ...that's not what balancing a game means. The idea there is to make it so that nothing other than player skill influences the result of the game, so that the game is a competition purely of skill and nothing else. Hence why it's only really achievable by giving both players exactly the same tools with no differences between them, such as in a fighting game mirror match (both players playing the same character).
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    That's missing the point of games.

    Here's a balanced game:

    A machine rolls a balanced die randomly. On an even number, I win. On an odd number, you win.

    50/50 win rate over the aggregate no matter what, so long as the rules are followed. (That is, the die is balanced, the machine rolls it randomly, so on and so forth.) Is that a fun game?
    Now that you mention it. It's doesn't sound so fun at all.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    Now that you mention it. It's doesn't sound so fun at all.
    Some children's games are like this. The card game War, for example, is random with no player skill and the outcome determined as soon as the initial cards are dealt to each player.

    Most people stop playing these sorts of games at some point because it's not fun to have no control over whether you win or lose and have each person arbitrarily win half of the time.

    (It's possibly to have a game be both completely random and unbalanced. Slot machines are a good example of this. Whether or not you win is random, but the odds of you winning versus the machine owner "winning" are wildly in the favor of the machine owner.)

    If you want to define "balanced" as "any two people selected at random can play the game and have an equal chance at winning", then the game itself is unlikely to be interesting because those players can't make any decisions or use any skills since no person is exactly another person's equal at all things, and certainly two randomly selected people are going to have different strengths and weaknesses.

    That's why most people use "balanced" to mean "the mechanics of the game are such that player skill during the game matters a lot more than which character/side/turn/deck/etc. each player is using" instead. That leaves room for skilled players to do interesting things to win while playing the game.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    Yeah; what people usually mean when they say "balanced" is that they want to be able to sit down and know that the game isn't rigged too hard in favor of one "character" choice or another, where a "character" is the set of options you choose when you sit down to play the game. (There's also fairness between different playstyles, but that's a lot fuzzier since you can't account for every playstyle in a game.)

    They want it to be a game that's fair: where, if you make the right decisions, you have just as much of a chance of winning as an opponent who makes the right decisions. The game is in who makes right decisions more consistently, and who messes up less.
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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    Extra Credits once did a video on what they call 'perfect imbalance'. The short of it is that games are often deliberately designed unbalanced, with more powerful options requiring more skill to use.

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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    I doubt if it's possible to have two competitive sides be perfectly matched, unless you make them identical. And even then one side will probably have some advantage, like white in chess. In practice, I can't think of any game or sport that expects its sides should always be perfectly matched. The whole point of playing is to determine which is better.
    Interestingly this first player advantage is recognised in Go. Black goes first and has about a 55% win ratio, so to compensate for this, White gets a handicap of between 5-7 bonus points, called komi.

    There are other ways of resolving the advantage in tournament play, e.g. the higher ranked player typically plays white with a reduced handicap, but the exact details vary from country to country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Algeh View Post
    Some children's games are like this. The card game War, for example, is random with no player skill and the outcome determined as soon as the initial cards are dealt to each player.

    Most people stop playing these sorts of games at some point because it's not fun to have no control over whether you win or lose and have each person arbitrarily win half of the time.

    (It's possibly to have a game be both completely random and unbalanced. Slot machines are a good example of this. Whether or not you win is random, but the odds of you winning versus the machine owner "winning" are wildly in the favor of the machine owner.)

    If you want to define "balanced" as "any two people selected at random can play the game and have an equal chance at winning", then the game itself is unlikely to be interesting because those players can't make any decisions or use any skills since no person is exactly another person's equal at all things, and certainly two randomly selected people are going to have different strengths and weaknesses.

    That's why most people use "balanced" to mean "the mechanics of the game are such that player skill during the game matters a lot more than which character/side/turn/deck/etc. each player is using" instead. That leaves room for skilled players to do interesting things to win while playing the game.
    It's worth noting that some of the most classic children's games are completely luck based (or completely deterministic, depending on your view of 'luck' )

    Recently my friends and I played Candyland again because we needed to kill 20 minutes and we found it in his basement. After the first shuffle it is completely determined by regular draws from a single deck. We still had fun with it by being silly and making up stories (why you got booted out of the Peppermint Forest, for example), and according to wikipedia,
    The winner is predetermined by the shuffle of the cards. A perennial favorite, the game sells about one million copies per year.
    I'm not disagreeing with you: it certainly lacks depth to keep a playgroup continuously interested, but there is precedence for people enjoying a purely random competitive game. Snakes & Ladders is similar but giving you the feeling of control by rolling dice. Horseracing is a favorite even among adults (well, my friend group likes it, anyway) despite being random.

    Back to the larger context about balance in games: a lot of games, especially nowadays, are specifically designed around characters that are not balanced with one another. Asymmetric games can be a lot of fun, where different players have different roles. There's a video game comes to mind, Last Year: The Nightmare, where one player is a stereotypical slasher villain, and the others have to stop him through various objectives in the environment. Evolve and Natural Selection had similar gameplay styles.

    Even in symmetric games, having a team generates new interactions where any individual player is imbalanced against opponents. In MOBA games, supports are notoriously weak in fighting 1 vs 1, but all the best teams have at least one support for the utility they bring. High damaging 'duelist' types excel specifically at 1 vs 1 matchups, but are weaker in larger 5 vs 5 fights. The intentional imbalance between the roles keeps things exciting.
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  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    Extra Credits once did a video on what they call 'perfect imbalance'. The short of it is that games are often deliberately designed unbalanced, with more powerful options requiring more skill to use.
    I wouldn't necessarily describe that as imbalanced. Difficulty of execution is an important factor to consider when designing a game, and ignoring it will make for a highly skewed game. Look no further than Overwatch for an example of what goes wrong when you try to put easy to execute abilities on an even footing with difficult to execute ones (looking at you, GOATS meta).

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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    Starcraft II co-op has problems with that. Some of the armies are way more difficult to play for little benefit, even though computers wouldn't see much difference due to perfect micro skills. Surgically dropping tanks out of a Hercules is a lot more difficult for a person then a machine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Starcraft II co-op has problems with that. Some of the armies are way more difficult to play for little benefit, even though computers wouldn't see much difference due to perfect micro skills. Surgically dropping tanks out of a Hercules is a lot more difficult for a person then a machine.
    SC2Coop is a funny case because it's a mode where regular Brutal missions are fairly easy and there are multiple commanders with extremely low skillfloor playstyles (Zeratul comes to mind), but Blizzard recently decided to up the ante on some brutations and it's the only mode that really shows off weaknesses of certain comms. I find it funny that we had two uber-hardcore mutations on defensive maps in a row where Karax proved to be horribly unpopular in spite of being entirely a defensive-oriented commander.

    Also, pretty much every commander has some easier way to play; FWIW, if you are terrible at HercTank micro, you can probably just go Goliath/Vessel or Mass Cyclones. (Myself, I love macro commanders to death and wouldn't change anything about Swann or Fenix)
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    Default Re: The Problem With Unbalanced Gaming

    So I guess that unbalanced gaming is more fun than balanced gaming huh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    So I guess that unbalanced gaming is more fun than balanced gaming huh?
    I don't see anyone saying that, and your own definition of "balanced gaming" was shown to be peculiar. Balance is a goal, just like quality in general. There will never be perfect balance and the meaning of balance is going to change depending on the circumstances.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    So I guess that unbalanced gaming is more fun than balanced gaming huh?
    Well, you never did explain why you think there's a problem with imbalance. Perhaps if you did, we could talk about why some types of imbalance are a problem, when clearly not all types are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    Well, you never did explain why you think there's a problem with imbalance. Perhaps if you did, we could talk about why some types of imbalance are a problem, when clearly not all types are.
    What do you mean I never explain it? I explain real clear about it. Do you even read my thread at all?

    The reason why most games are imbalanced because most characters in fighting games are not equal in power.
    Last edited by Bartmanhomer; 2019-09-23 at 05:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El'the Ellie View Post
    It's worth noting that some of the most classic children's games are completely luck based (or completely deterministic, depending on your view of 'luck' )
    I still remember the day I worked out that "Eenie Meenie Miney Moe" is not only deterministic, but you can dictate the result by who you start counting on.

    I sat there for a good 20 minutes doing the rhyme for various numbers of people, trying to get the same starting person to come out with a different result. It took far longer than it should have to figure out WHY it never changed.

    And, of course, I immediately started looking cross-eyed at anyone who had ever performed Eenie Meenie Miney Moe on me previously, wondering if they knew the trick and were rigging the outcome.

    Figuring out the perfect play for Tic Tac Toe was another fun one. Totally ruined that game for me. I must have been fairly young, because I remember trying to do the same thing with Connect Four.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    What do you mean I never explain it? I explain real clear about it. Do you even read my thread at all?

    The reason why most games are imbalanced because most characters in fighting games are not equal in power.
    You also defined being unbalanced as being unrelated to player skill, which means the game has to have no strategy at all.

    The two definitions you have given cause some problems that make it difficult to make a balanced game.

    1. Given any significantly complex game, some options are going to be better then others. Without making every character identical mechanically you cannot have a perfectly balanced game.

    For instance in Street Fighter you could make every character a Ryu clone, but even in a game with four Ryu clones Hibiki, Ken and the school girl are weaker due to small changes in speed vs. strength (hibiki these are large numbers.)

    2. Any game with player input is going to favor skill, so making a balanced game under that definition means having no player input.

    Since many people prefer variation and player input to not having those, there is an argument that some level of unbalance does make games more fun. Remember that fun is subjective, so people can disagree on that point and all be correct.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    You also defined being unbalanced as being unrelated to player skill, which means the game has to have no strategy at all.

    The two definitions you have given cause some problems that make it difficult to make a balanced game.

    1. Given any significantly complex game, some options are going to be better then others. Without making every character identical mechanically you cannot have a perfectly balanced game.

    For instance in Street Fighter you could make every character a Ryu clone, but even in a game with four Ryu clones Hibiki, Ken and the school girl are weaker due to small changes in speed vs. strength (hibiki these are large numbers.)

    2. Any game with player input is going to favor skill, so making a balanced game under that definition means having no player input.

    Since many people prefer variation and player input to not having those, there is an argument that some level of unbalance does make games more fun. Remember that fun is subjective, so people can disagree on that point and all be correct.
    Yes which I've mentioned that before. But with the right mechanics and function it should be a balanced game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    Yes which I've mentioned that before. But with the right mechanics and function it should be a balanced game.
    It won't be. It might be closer to balanced or further away, but any game with variable choices is going to be unbalanced to some degree. Even rock-paper-scissors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    It won't be. It might be closer to balanced or further away, but any game with variable choices is going to be unbalanced to some degree. Even rock-paper-scissors.
    Well closer is better than none I might say. Rock-Paper-Scissors have a 1/3 chance there. (That right I'm doing math here. ) Even heads and tails have a 50-50 chance to make sure which it's lands which is very balance.
    Last edited by Bartmanhomer; 2019-09-23 at 05:34 PM.

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