Balance in the souls games?

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    Do you believe everything should be balanced and have parallels?

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    LunarFog
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    Balance in the souls games?

    Post by LunarFog on Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:54 pm

    Do you think that almost every aspect in the souls games should be balanced? Or is it fine as long as everything has it's own niche or purpose?

    I was thinking about the 3 forms of magic in Dark Souls and they all have their own niche or "purpose" if you will. Sorcery is the strongest version of magic, Miracles boast versatility, and Pyromancy has the useful trait of not scaling with stats. No matter how you think about it each form of magic has it's own purpose and can outperform the others in the right situation.

    Each type of magic also has their own parallels to each other. For example, each type of magic has a longrange spell(Fireball, Lightning spear, Soul spear).

    Weapons also have their own niches. Spears have the longest range and the ability to attack while blocking, and while thrusting swords have shorter range they make up for it by being quicker and more controllable, as well as having a bonus to criticals.


    My question is: Should FromSoft focus on keeping everything as balanced as possible, or is it ok if there are some instances where one weapon is obviously superior to another in every way?

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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by The Letter X on Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:07 pm

    I think it's fine as is because even if things were somehow perfectly balanced, it'd be less realistic. There are obvious choices you should pick for certain types of combat because they will excel in that type of combat. For example, I am fine with a spear or katana dominating 1v1 duels/combat because I believe that's how it should be.

    I don't think it really matters as much in PvE as in PvP since you can try over and over in PvE. In PvP, people want balance that cannot be attained without screwing with PvE.

    These are only my opinions, of course, and only my take on how it is. Please do not take it as fact or me trying to say that it is fact.

    Edit: I do believe things should be balanced one way or another, but if one weapon is better than another in PvP then that does not mean things are not balanced. There is also the argument about skill, where balance almost doesn't matter. Shrug


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by WhatDoesThePendantDo? on Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:28 pm

    Balance is important, but perfect balance is an impossibility and a fool's errand.

    The way they've been doing it is fine IMO. Provided they don't make another DWGR mistake.

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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by BLA1NE on Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:40 pm

    @X: Balance and purpose are not the same thing! But purpose can be an effect of balance.


    Each weapon has (should have) its strengths and weaknesses, and that's where you'll get its purpose from. "PvP" or "PvE" aren't a strength, or purpose. If it is for a weapon, then that means it's imbalanced! Range, speed, versatility (moveset), damage, poise-breaking, etc., are strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to PvP and PvE in general, you have situations in which you'll want to take advantage of a weapon's strength, and where its weaknesses won't be too much of a burden. And when everything is well balanced, it becomes like a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors--only in a game, skill can make it possible for someone to beat, say, scissors with paper! So each one has its strengths and intended purpose, but since they're balanced, if they're used right, they can always be competitive with one another.

    (By the way, sorry if I'm rambling--I need sleep! Shouldn't be posting in my state, I think...)

    Anyways my opinion is that balance is a great strength of Dark Souls. Not every game needs to be this way, but for Dark Souls, it's worked to the game's advantage. The fact that no weapon (or almost) is clearly better than another, or clearly worse than another, means you can use whichever one you want to play with. Then you'll want to use another one, and start over with that one. It's one of the main reasons why I've spent so much time playing Dark Souls, because I've been compelled to play it with so many different weapons. If, on the other hand, each weapon type had a hierarchy within it, rather than have balance, then I'd have obtained the best of each and be done with it. In essence, there'd have been a handful of "best weapons", and many inferior versions. Unless you want to challenge yourself, there'd be no point in playing with the inferior versions. But since all the weapons are balanced, then there is a point to playing with each of them.


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by The Letter X on Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:55 pm

    BLA1NE, my view on balance and purpose is that a weapon's strengths and weaknesses should be used towards its purpose. If a weapon has strengths in range and speed, its purpose should be in PvP. (Not that range and speed are the only important things in PvP, only examples.)
    My take on this is that a weapon's purposes should balance itself out with its uselessness in other areas.

    It's once again only my opinion on how things should be/how things are, but if it is flawed I'd gladly change my view. I'm also tired as heck right now. silly


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by BLA1NE on Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:00 am

    I'm in no condition or mood to change anyone's opinion right now! Considering I can't really understand anyone's opinion right now... Alright I'm off for tonight!


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by Animaaal on Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:40 am

    In regards to PvE:

    No. I would not like balance. I like the way a mage is disadvantaged in Dukes and a vitality/pyro build is hindered against Quelaag.

    I think diversity promotes co-op which is a good thing. However, don't confuse balance with impossibility. So your pyro ain't working against Quelaag?...go farm. It is the way of the rpg.

    In regards to PvP:

    Yes. I think Dark Souls is a very progressive game. Not only compared to other rpgs, but also Demon's Souls. I like the direction FROM has taken the franchise and think balancing the fighting mechanics for their core group is a priority.

    However, I also believe their should be minor imbalances. Such as crowd control for invaders, hosts summoning phantoms, certain covenants invading lopsidedly, etc.

    I think with only a few minor tweaks to certain weapon groups, castings, and backstab mechanics, every practical build (with the exception of lol builds) will be competitive in most dueling environments (1vs1/2vs2/etc).

    I really hope this is the vision for DkS2.

    ***EDIT***
    I voted yes anyway.


    Last edited by Animaaal on Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:27 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : structurer/grammer)
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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by WandererReece on Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:17 pm

    I need a "somewhat" option. I don't think there should be true balance. The only way to achieve that is remove everything except one weapon and one outfit.

    However, I think some stuff in the game can be a little more balanced:

    Weapons that have 40 dex requirements.

    Pure magic faith weapon.

    Talisman that halfs castings like a TCC.

    Just little changes like that, but nothing huge. If I had to choose between yes and no, then I would probably choose no.


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by Slarg232 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:19 pm

    I think we ARE pretty much balanced, with only a few weapons being a bit underpowered (Whips are a little slow for how close ranged they are. Pick one to improve, then perfect weapon).

    Other than that, I would say that we are as balanced as we can be, small exception being turtlers.


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by WandererReece on Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:03 pm

    ^ Turtlers can be countered with shotels and force, so they aren't too overpowered.

    Also, whoever said, "2 handing a greatsword is good for breaking guards", was exaggerating. Once I fought a guy turtling behind a dragoncrest shield. I hit him with my 2 handed Zweihander 4 times in a row, and his guard never broke.


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by Carphil on Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:07 pm

    There are weapons that are better than others, but ALL weapons are viable in this game. There nothing completely "useless" *even sniper crossbow*


    Also, you can't have two separated games for PVP or PVE, this is not a traditional MMORPG. I think we're fine right now.

    Issues and bugs, or too overpowered things gets patched, and that happens in every online game.


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by WandererReece on Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:17 pm

    Carphil wrote:Issues and bugs, or too overpowered things gets patched, and that happens in every online game.

    That's true, every developer makes mistakes, and every game gets bugs. However, every developer doesn't make the most OP ring and then decide to completely remove its' main function. (I'm talking about DWGR.)

    In all seriousness the game is well balanced right now.


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by Animaaal on Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:34 pm

    Carphil wrote:There are weapons that are better than others, but ALL weapons are viable in this game. There nothing completely "useless" *even sniper crossbow*


    Also, you can't have two separated games for PVP or PVE, this is not a traditional MMORPG. I think we're fine right now.

    Issues and bugs, or too overpowered things gets patched, and that happens in every online game.

    I think some weapons are a little outta reach at sl 100-120. Granted they are far and inbetween. Yes you can use everything, but somethings demand more than others, neither here nor there I guess.

    I know what you mean about seperate games too. However I think it accidentally happened lol. I'm not sure if FROM knew what they were on to when they made Demon's Souls. I think they were tickled sh|t|ess lol. I also think they've tried to expand on their accident and will continue to do so in DkS2. I mean come on, pve and pvp builds are kinda 2 seperate beasts ya know?

    But yeah, like you said, it would be a bad idea to try and mimic a mmorpg in that respect, a really bad idea.
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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by BIG TIME MASTER on Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:44 pm

    You want a great sword to weigh the same as a whip? Preposterous.


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by Animaaal on Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:37 pm

    BIG TIME MASTER wrote:You want a great sword to weigh the same as a whip? Preposterous.

    No
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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by Samurainova on Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:57 pm

    True power lies in the balance my young padawan.

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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by Carphil on Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:30 pm

    Samurainova wrote:True power lies in the balance my young padawan.


    O wish that was true, but everyone knows that true power lies on the GSoA!


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by Reaperfan on Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:36 pm

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/perfect-imbalance

    Is relevant to my opinions on the subject at hand


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by BLA1NE on Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:46 pm

    I don't want to re-read the convoluted mess I half-remember writing yesterday, but I want to stress: balance does not mean equal. You don't need "only 1 weapon and 1 set of armor" for a game to be balanced. Neither do you need everything to be the same to be balanced. Just because magic has a super strong catalyst that halves your casts doesn't mean faith needs one too. Need proof? Faith's buffs only have 1 cast per attunment, whereas magic's have 3. But if you want to use all 3 for magic, they'll be weaker; if you want to use them at their full potential, you'll get 1 cast, just like Fth. If you were to add a casting-halving talisman, then you'd need to re-balance all the number of castings for all the Fth spells.

    Balance just means each element within an ecosystem has pros and cons that counteract each other. Also, "Perfect imbalance" is a ridiculous term when all the while they were just describing balance.

    If everyone picks one element over another, in a balanced system, it's because that's the one that is most suited to their play style and level of skill at the time. Like the "slightly OP champion A" they were talking about in the video. That slightly OP element isn't actually OP, it's just that at that stage in the game's life, the majority of its playerbase is most ready to use that element (say: the claymore for DkS PvP newbs). Then they move onto the next one (spears).

    I remember a time when we all thought the PGS was trash! Now we all know it's a great weapon. But when I invade and duel with it constantly, I rarely ever come across another player using it--yet almost everyone I fight dies to it. So why don't more people use it? Is it imbalanced? Is it "perfectly imbalanced"? No, it's balanced, they're just not ready to use it yet.


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by Animaaal on Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:07 pm

    BLA1NE wrote:...Also, "Perfect imbalance" is a ridiculous term when all the while they were just describing balance...

    I thought that was harsh. I think they did an excellent job articulating how strategy and skill translates to further creating imbalances. I thought the chess analogy was particularly insightful.

    Say what you want, but people use oxymorons and synonyms all the time when trying to illustrate a deep point of view in a glossed over way.

    As a matter of fact you strengthen the point of view by stating (and rightly so) that balance does not mean equal. You're right...it doesn't, cuz this ain't chess. Never will be.

    I think you're being a little over critical of the video and its message.

    Also, if you're saying spears aren't, at the very least, slightly imbalanced...then I say Look Skyward I don't think thats what you're saying about spears though, at least I hope.
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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by Reaperfan on Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:38 pm

    BLA1NE wrote:-snip-

    I'm not usually one to criticize EC, but their point about how cyclical imbalance works was flawed. If you play League of Legends at all, you know that these shifts in "Champion A -> B -> C" only really occur because Riot Games patches the game every few weeks. It's less about the playerbase becoming savvy to the strategies and more about certain champions slightly shifting around the "Jedi Curve" from their previous place.

    Dark Souls has no cyclical imbalance because the metagame doesn't shift once it's been established. You talk about Claymores for newbs, spears for more advanced players, and the PGS for those who are ahead of the curve, when really, there's no curve at all. What you described was a linear progression path where people don't adapt and adjust the game around them, but instead simply realize other options are more effective than what they were using previously. Eventually this path will end with a single dominant strategy, be it a PGS or spears, that won't change unless a patch is introduced. We had this before with the DWGR, and unless FROM decides to shake up the state of their game with another patch, we will eventually settle into another solidified state of play.

    Comparing weapons is a moot point.

    And to answer the question at the end, if this really was cyclical imbalance and the PGS really was just the next step in progression, then it would be perfect imbalance as soon as the metagame started focusing it's strategies around using and countering that weapon. In the situation you described, it's not balance or imbalance, it's just you being individually good with that particular weapon, and one person does not a metagame make.


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by BLA1NE on Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:44 pm

    @Animal

    Spears are balanced. Lag is what breaks their balance, but that can't be fixed. No amount of nerfing spears would solve the issue--it would only make that weapon class useless.

    @Reaper

    I said there was a progression in weapons choice according to player experience and skill, not that any weapon was better than another. I could just as well pick up a claymore or spear and beat people wielding a PGS. The opposite isn't necessarily true, though: those players wielding claymores couldn't necessarily use the PGS and be good with it--until they're experienced enough to wield it, that is.


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by Reaperfan on Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:48 pm

    BLA1NE wrote:@Reaper

    I said there was a progression in weapons choice according to player experience and skill, not that any weapon was better than another. I could just as well pick up a claymore or spear and beat people wielding a PGS. The opposite isn't necessarily true, though: those players wielding claymores couldn't necessarily use the PGS and be good with it--until they're experienced enough to wield it, that is.

    Then you were never really discussing balance or imbalance to begin with :|

    What you were discussing was individual player progression across multiple hypothetical accunts, not the actual metagame.


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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by Animaaal on Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:50 pm

    BLA1NE wrote:...Spears are balanced. Lag is what breaks their balance, but that can't be fixed. No amount of nerfing spears would solve the issue--it would only make that weapon class useless...

    I never said they needed nerfing, I just said they are imbalanced. Because they are. Lag is not the problem with spears. Thats your opinion.
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    Re: Balance in the souls games?

    Post by BLA1NE on Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:53 pm

    Reaper: I think you're misinterpreting what I wrote. I meant player experience and skill, not their character's...


    Animal: then we disagree. Spears are not unbalanced, I couldn't see how they are. They're relatively weak, and despite their range, they have terrible hit-boxes. They should be easy to side-step, but they're not because of lag, that's all. Other than online hit-tracking, there's nothing that makes spears unbalanced.


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