Seeking Balance – Zen in MMO’s

Here’s a pretty epic toon from “The Church of Poisoned Minds” (Link)

My ex actually linked this over to me when I stopped playing for a bit. Heh, way to convince me to stop gaming right?

It reminded him of how much I used to grumble back when WoW was constantly rebalancing the Death Knight. I mean come on, every 3 weeks it was like playing a different class.

Thing is that rebalancing can be necessary though. Especially when end users (players in this case) find new and interesting ways to get your software to do stuff you had no idea it’d do. Whether we’re talking exploits, stacking damage, rediculous crits, who knows/who cares. Every once in a while something in the database needs a new value to either keep every one from rolling whatever class has the power or to keep people from throwing their hands up and walking away in bitter, bitter frustration. Which of course means taking monies with them.

I was reminded of this by Smacken when he commented on my last post. I’d whined a bit about the static talent trees. The downside to static talents is that if they’re subject to rebalancing, you’re borked. There’s no re-speccing, there’s only a strait up do – over.

This is really one of the things that totally turned me off to Champions Online during the pre-release days. I really liked the character set up, and some of the abilities were neato, but it was obvious that they were tweaking things behind the scenes. Granted it was just before launch so I’m sure they had some last minute elements to work out and I’m ok with that. What I’m not ok with are all of these monkeys without lives spending their entire day doing nothing but looking for the best way to wtf pwn other players. Through trial, error, word of mouth, or observation, they find some way to make them feel powerful in their otherwise powerless life by picking out a set of talents/abilities and/or combination of both that makes them feel like a god among boys for 15 minutes.

I’m so proud, really, can you see the proud….

Now if you happen to have rolled the class these power monkeys had found the sweet spot in, now you too are wholloped with a steel reinforced nerf bat. You log out one day comfortable with your talents and abilities, feeling that you’ve successfully enjoyed a good day of going out and putting the hurt on NPC’s, but no, it’s a false sense of security. The next day you log in to find that you’re running around trying to kill stuff with a feather duster. The NPC’s that had run in fear the day before either stand laughing or asking “ooooo a little to the left”.

*shakes head* so … very … frustrating …

Best of all is that if you have a stationary talent tree, you’re charcter is now borked by rebalancing and it’s no fault of your own. Personally, I’m adult enough to own up to making mistakes. If I have to do over because I wasn’t paying attention, I can hang with that. It’s not like I haven’t had to do that before, or will have to do that again.

I pull a 180 though when the developers are making game changing modifications that then bork my toon. I have no control over that. Technically I could keep an eye on the forums and make sure that I’m NOT playing any of the popular flavor of the month class types. Thing is though that means I’ll have to avoid entire aspects of the game, even classes that I found or would have found fun and engaging, all because some power hungry teens and tweens really just needed to log into Halo and get on some Red vs Blue action.

Ok, I know it’s not quite that bad, but it’s making me laugh so I’m going to go with it.

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