Nonce's Grand Plan for Game Balancing

Nonce Equitaur 2Nonce Equitaur 2 Age Unconfirmed Posts: 2,269 Chairperson of the Boards
edited September 2014 in MPQ General Discussion
I thought I'd write up a grand plan for making the game more balanced. Here's what I've come up with.

1. Fix Sentry's World Rupture. (This had to be in here somewhere)

2. Beast, BWGS, Captain Marvel, Daken, Deadpool, Doctor Doom, Loki, Magneto, Spiderman, and Hawkeye stay pretty much the same, but their ability color orders change to match their strong tile damages, to fix Tile / Power disparities . This simplifies the "enemy's strongest color" based abilities for X-Force, Fury, and Black Panther.

3. Activating a power currently brings up a heads-up display. Add some calculations.

4. For 4* characters, increase weak tile damages from 9,10,11 to 10,11,12 to make them as good as 3* characters. (EDIT: 11,12,13,64,73,82 was too strong)

5. IM40 gets a heads-up display when Recharge is activated. A variable amount of power can be used. Remove his AP drains.
"How much power, sir?"
6 ooo . . . 8 ooo . . . 10 oo . . . 12 oo . . . 14 oo

6. Doom gets a versatile green power from discarded environment effects, with his strong Purple tile damage becoming strong Green.
    Master of Latveria - Green Passive
    Doom always has a plan, giving him a tactical edge. He can add three Black Strike tiles each time his team makes a turn-ending Team-Up tile match. As he upgrades his armor and gathers power he can activate a different effect of his choosing.
      Level 2: Rally minions, boosting their health. Requires 3 Yellow. Level 3: Confuse distractible foes by turning a random tile critical. Requires 5 Red. Level 4: Show tactical mastery by activating explosives, destroying the left and right sides of the board. Requires 7 Green. Level 5: Stun an enemy fool for 1 turn. Reduce enemy AP of every color by 1. Requires 9 Purple.


    Based on (Latverian Terrain), (Hot Dog Stand), (Containment Breach), (Narrow Alley), (Snow Drift)

    7. Replace Spiderman's Yellow Web Bandages with a Green Web Interference, and change his tile damage (Yellow->Green) EDIT: Any sort of damaging green power fitting with Spidey's character could be used.
      Web Interference - Green 7AP
      Spider-Man webs a chosen basic tile, dealing 208 damage and turning it into a 2 round Counter tile. Opponent powers using the chosen color are unusable. When the countdown is over, just the webbing remains.
      Level Upgrades
        Level 2: Countdown and and Attack tiles powered by the chosen color are halted. Level 3: Team-up tiles may be selected, preventing enemy use. Deals 281 Damage. Level 4: Protect and Strike tiles of the chosen color stop functioning. Level 5: Interference lasts for three rounds. Deals 470 Damage.
      Max Level: 1494 Damage

      8. Increase Storm (Mohawk) health to 8500. In Marvel Canon, Storm (Mohawk) beat up Wolverine without using any powers.

      9. Loki gets Avoid from Hawkeye's discarded ability as a passive Green power. Drop base Trickery to 13AP.

      10. Captain America -- Sentinel of Liberty : drop to 12 AP

      11. Invisible Woman -- Change Force Bubbles cost to 10 AP

      12. Buff up Daredevil's traps.

      13. Some color changes
      Magneto's Magnetized Projectiles and tile damage (Blue -> Purple)
      BWGS's Pistol and tile damage (Red -> Yellow)
      Hood's Dormammu’s Aid and tile damage (Blue -> Purple)
      Hulk 's Anger and tile damage (Black -> Purple)

      With these changes, all color combinations are covered.

      Color breakdown for powers. Characters with the same numbers cover all colors.
      999/999/999/___/___/___ || ___/___/___/999/999/999 -- Captain America, Iron Man || Loki
      888/888/___/888/___/___ || ___/___/888/___/888/888 -- Magneto (Classic) || Doctor Doom
      777/777/___/___/777/___ || ___/___/777/777/___/777 -- Thor, Sentry, Ares, Patch || Black Widow (Original), Daken (Classic)
      666/666/___/___/___/666 || ___/___/666/666/666/___ -- Captain Marvel, Colossus || Spider-Man
      555/___/555/555/___/___ || ___/555/___/___/555/555 -- Nick Fury, Falcon || Punisher, Human Torch
      444/___/444/___/444/___ || ___/444/___/444/___/444 -- Invisible Woman, Beast, Storm (Classic) || Deadpool, Moonstone
      333/___/333/___/___/333 || ___/333/___/333/333/___ -- Black Panther || Hulk
      222/___/___/222/222/___ || ___/222/222/___/___/222 -- BWGS || Psylocke
      111/___/___/111/___/111 || ___/111/111/___/111/___ -- The Hood || She-Hulk
      000/___/___/___/000/000 || ___/000/000/000/___/___ -- Wolverine (X-Force), Storm (Mohawk), Storm (Modern) || Magneto (Marvel Now), Daredevil, Hawkeye (Modern)

      14. From there, tweak minor tile damages to maximize the Domination graph. This would allow any character to have a role up front on at least a few teams. The dominating effect would be maximized for Hulk and Captain Marvel first, then Thor, She-Hulk, Sentry, WolvX, Capt America, Black Panther, IM40, Patch, and Daken. Characters Hood, Torch, Falcon, BWGS, Beast, Daredevil, Magneto, and Psylocke would be optimized to not be dominating.

      15. Add a level-shifting button. For example -- I might want to drop my Hood eight levels for awhile. On the character screen showing the stat block, there could be a "-1" and "+1" button, with the "+1" button initially grayed out. If they press "-1", then the "+1" button is activated, along with "1 available level", which would increment each time "-1" was pressed.

      16. Get more moderators.

      So, that's my grand plan for balancing the game. I tried to make it as easy to implement as possible.
      «1

      Comments

      • Wow, you care so much about this game.
        They should hire you nonce, seriously. For B.Analyst or QA/QC prolly.
      • So... brilliant. Thank you.

        Worth noting that Storm with a Mohawk had no powers in the canon at all and really shouldn't have any powers powers in the game... but I digress.

        Thanks again Nonce.
      • Nonce Equitaur 2Nonce Equitaur 2 Age Unconfirmed Posts: 2,269 Chairperson of the Boards
        Forgot to mention buffs for Ragnarok and She-Hulk (Modern). And hiring more moderators.
      • OnesOwnGriefOnesOwnGrief Age Unconfirmed Posts: 1,387 Chairperson of the Boards
        icon_e_sad.gif I hope they don't change Daredevils red if they do change him.
      • mags1587mags1587 Posts: 1,020 Chairperson of the Boards
        I really, really want that to be Doom's 3rd power.
      • Cleaning up inconsistencies like color matches is fine, but there's literally no point to suggest significant power tweaks because we have no idea what, if any, was in mind when certain characters are designed. For all we know maybe they didn't intend Dr. Doom to ever be useful so therefore any attempt at coming up with a third power is a waste of time. Due to the lack of an existence of some kind of test server, if they actually implemented most of the changes the overwhelmingly likely result would either that the said character is still useless or the said character is way too powerful. Now in theory that doesn't really change things too much because we always had characters in either category but for whatever reason development time seems to be very limited so it shouldn't be spent chasing ghosts with the slim hope that some changes might actually turn out to work. In fact as long as there isn't some kind of test server balance from player's perspective is limited to at most fixing something that's unbelievably broken (like World Rupture) or minor adjustment to costs (like going from 15 to 14 AP) because this game is simply far more complicated than people think. It's not something you can just say "I've totally thought of every scenario this ability can be used and this new ability will totally fix it". You'd need to have a sizeable number of people running the new/adjusted abilities on PvP/PvE events and at least collect some data on win rates before you've any confidence this works and right now I don't think the game supports that at the public level.
      • Nonce Equitaur 2Nonce Equitaur 2 Age Unconfirmed Posts: 2,269 Chairperson of the Boards
        edited September 2014
        mags1587 wrote:
        I really, really want that to be Doom's 3rd power.

        This would be a new End Turn power, as he selected the effect he wanted.

        The strike tiles would be really weak, just like Latverian Terrain. But it often helps to put something/anything on the board. Falcon would have a new partner.
        The rallying effect might be worth 2% health, and is temporary, but would be repeatable until team up tiles run out.
        The random crit might make a 3-match, but probably not. If it makes a 5-match, Doom would be able to continue his turn.
        The explosives might make 3-matches. If it makes a 5-match, Doom would be able to continue his turn.
        The stun and drain is nasty, but can only be done as long as Team-up matches remain on the board.

        Tweaked it a bit.
      • SpoitSpoit Posts: 3,441 Chairperson of the Boards
        Phantron wrote:
        Cleaning up inconsistencies like color matches is fine, but there's literally no point to suggest significant power tweaks because we have no idea what, if any, was in mind when certain characters are designed. For all we know maybe they didn't intend Dr. Doom to ever be useful so therefore any attempt at coming up with a third power is a waste of time. Due to the lack of an existence of some kind of test server, if they actually implemented most of the changes the overwhelmingly likely result would either that the said character is still useless or the said character is way too powerful. Now in theory that doesn't really change things too much because we always had characters in either category but for whatever reason development time seems to be very limited so it shouldn't be spent chasing ghosts with the slim hope that some changes might actually turn out to work. In fact as long as there isn't some kind of test server balance from player's perspective is limited to at most fixing something that's unbelievably broken (like World Rupture) or minor adjustment to costs (like going from 15 to 14 AP) because this game is simply far more complicated than people think. It's not something you can just say "I've totally thought of every scenario this ability can be used and this new ability will totally fix it". You'd need to have a sizeable number of people running the new/adjusted abilities on PvP/PvE events and at least collect some data on win rates before you've any confidence this works and right now I don't think the game supports that at the public level.
        I'm not sure that even the devs 1) put that much thought into developing power sets beyond their (completely disconnected from game balace) budget and especially 2) actually playtest the skills
      • TrisulTrisul Age Unconfirmed Posts: 887 Critical Contributor
        Having every color combination doesn't need to be a design priority and seems like wasted effort, since color balance doesn't necessarily dictate the game being balanced as a whole. Having certain colors be rarer is just as legitimate a design choice as completely even color balance, especially when ability colors are supposed to "feel" a certain way.

        I get the throwback sentiment for environmental tiles, but Doom's proposed third power is wordy and confusing. Ability mechanics don't have to be needlessly complex to be interesting.

        Some of these tweaks seem awfully specific for a "grand plan". To me your suggestions boil down to "nerf Sentry, buff weak characters".

        I like the general tone of these suggestions. Is your #1 point the highest priority and #15 the lowest?
      • Spoit wrote:
        Phantron wrote:
        Cleaning up inconsistencies like color matches is fine, but there's literally no point to suggest significant power tweaks because we have no idea what, if any, was in mind when certain characters are designed. For all we know maybe they didn't intend Dr. Doom to ever be useful so therefore any attempt at coming up with a third power is a waste of time. Due to the lack of an existence of some kind of test server, if they actually implemented most of the changes the overwhelmingly likely result would either that the said character is still useless or the said character is way too powerful. Now in theory that doesn't really change things too much because we always had characters in either category but for whatever reason development time seems to be very limited so it shouldn't be spent chasing ghosts with the slim hope that some changes might actually turn out to work. In fact as long as there isn't some kind of test server balance from player's perspective is limited to at most fixing something that's unbelievably broken (like World Rupture) or minor adjustment to costs (like going from 15 to 14 AP) because this game is simply far more complicated than people think. It's not something you can just say "I've totally thought of every scenario this ability can be used and this new ability will totally fix it". You'd need to have a sizeable number of people running the new/adjusted abilities on PvP/PvE events and at least collect some data on win rates before you've any confidence this works and right now I don't think the game supports that at the public level.
        I'm not sure that even the devs 1) put that much thought into developing power sets beyond their (completely disconnected from game balace) budget and especially 2) actually playtest the skills

        I'm sure they've some plan and some testing but it's limited. Again this boils down to that this game is surprisingly complex and you can't just have a few guys say they've thought of everything that can possibly happen and there's no way this can fail. Since D3 isn't even a very big company I doubt they've a large play testing team and a lot of these things you need quite a lot of guys testing to figure out. There's also the general lag because on live most people can't afford to max every overpowered character out immediately even when they're obviously broken. It took a while before Sentry to dominate but that's not because people can't figure out he's broken. It just took a while for people to get all the covers for him because even as broken as he is, it's probably out of the question to drop a few hundred dollars to immediately max him out, and D3 may wrongly interpret this as 'Sentry isn't overpowered after all, because nobody's using him!'
      • Nonce Equitaur 2Nonce Equitaur 2 Age Unconfirmed Posts: 2,269 Chairperson of the Boards
        edited September 2014
        Trisul wrote:
        Having every color combination doesn't need to be a design priority and seems like wasted effort, since color balance doesn't necessarily dictate the game being balanced as a whole. Having certain colors be rarer is just as legitimate a design choice as completely even color balance, especially when ability colors are supposed to "feel" a certain way.

        I get the throwback sentiment for environmental tiles, but Doom's proposed third power is wordy and confusing. Ability mechanics don't have to be needlessly complex to be interesting.

        Some of these tweaks seem awfully specific for a "grand plan". To me your suggestions boil down to "nerf Sentry, buff weak characters".

        I like the general tone of these suggestions. Is your #1 point the highest priority and #15 the lowest?

        Thor(x2), Sentry, Ares, Wolverine(x2) are all YEL/RED/GRN, and that jam up eliminates a lot of good teams. Spreading out the color combos opens up a lot more strategic possibilities.

        At full power, Doom can choose between weak strikes, weak healing, adding a crit tile, board shaking, or stun/drain. Virtually all text was copied directly from old Environment descriptions. Feel free to rewrite it. Doing it as a throwback means that it would be much easier to develop, since all the coding is done for individual pieces.

        "nerf Sentry, buff weak characters" -- If everything else is ignored, it all boils down to this. There are various tweaks to make the game less tedious.

        There is no ranking. I numbered them in case people wanted to reference any of them.

      • 5. IM40 gets a heads-up display when Recharge is activated. A variable amount of power can be used. Remove his AP drains.
        "How much power, sir?"
        6 ooo . . . 8 ooo . . . 10 oo . . . 12 oo . . . 14 oo

        Don't remove the AP drains, make them optional ala Deadpool points for extra damage.
      • FOADakaSquirrelBoyFOADakaSquirrelBoy Posts: 82 Match Maker
        rabscutle wrote:
        Worth noting that Storm with a Mohawk had no powers in the canon at all and really shouldn't have any powers powers in the game... but I digress.
        Thanks again Nonce.
        Storm currently has a mohawk and powers in the comics.
      • GuntherBlobelGuntherBlobel Posts: 987 Critical Contributor
        You're hired!
      • rabscutle wrote:
        Worth noting that Storm with a Mohawk had no powers in the canon at all and really shouldn't have any powers powers in the game... but I digress.
        Thanks again Nonce.
        Storm currently has a mohawk and powers in the comics.

        Yes but it is a throw back to my childhood when she lost her powers because Forge had a mutant depowering gun and became leader of the Morlocks and was all bad **** and then the x-men something something something something early 90's something something seige perilous something something Jim Lee all things are fixed.

        I may have read too many X-Men comics...
      • SpoitSpoit Posts: 3,441 Chairperson of the Boards
        You're hired!
        He was already fired! icon_e_confused.gif
      • If they hired Nonce, he'd never have enough time to test anything he suggested unless he wants to work a ton of overtime. I'm not sure where I saw this, but I saw a quote that's like 'if we played the game as much as our players do we'd never have time to get anything done' from a dev and it's surprisingly true.
      • homeinvasionhomeinvasion Age Unconfirmed Posts: 415 Mover and Shaker
        GJ OP great post.

        I'd love to see all special tiles placed Like Cap, especially all countdowns which are kind of weak atm.
      • PylgrimPylgrim Posts: 2,296 Chairperson of the Boards
        The only thing I'd add is changing Beast's tile placement for his blue ability to be random around the board. Perhaps a little more HP too.
      • Yes, please. Sounds like a good plan. I really like Doom's additional ability and the idea of making every colour combination available.
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