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 Post subject: Elaborated guide to balance nauts/upgrades
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:47 pm 
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I decided to write a more detailed version of Treeby's topic.
If you don't like reading, this video makes about the same points.
I still see a lot of random suggestions being made...
I've been working on this big wall of text for ages and have tweaked it with the opinion of a lot of people.
I tried to keep it as firm and brief as possible as to not make it an unnecessarily huge wall of text and scare away potential readers.
Also do please know when reading this, that this wall is still heavily subjective.
It's a guideline and under no circumstance do I want to pass most of what's written here as facts.
This guide is heavily based on the visible part of Icefrog's way of balancing.


Gameinsky wrote:
Prologue
First of all an important statement that a lot of people forget about:
Perfect balance isn't possible. You can try to make the game as balanced as possible, but that might make the game less fun. As long as the game doesn't feel the same everytime and the flavour of the month is either diverse enough or changes constantly then that's already quite an accomplishment.


Before you begin you should know the different things that you'd want to strive for on every naut:
* There's skill floor (How good you need to be to play the naut well)
* Skill ceiling/versatility of the upgrades (How much you can do if you master the character)
* Fun factor (Subjective!)

All three are important.
They kind of blend together a bit but they're still separate things.

For skill floor:
The skill floor is how good you need to be to play the naut at the most basic successful level.
Nauts with a lower skillfloor ease people into picking nauts.
A related thing to skill-floor is reward.
The harder it is to pull of something, the more rewarding it should be. Since it will be hard to pull of, or can easily be countered.

Skill ceiling:
The higher the versatility of the upgrades AND the skill ceiling, the more diverse the naut can be played as. This gives him/her good replay-ability and doesn't make every game the same.
Some combinations don't work, but there's no upgrade you would say "hah, nobody uses that" to. Some upgrades are situational, this adds more depth to the game.

Fun factor:
Self explanatory. While mechanically it's the least important, it's a big factor in your game. After all, it's a game. We play games to have fun. If you play simply to balance, I could kindly suggest you to go play on a seesaw.
However, it's firmly bonded together to skill ceiling and skill floor. Skill floor too low? Naut is not fun to fight against. Skill ceiling too low or skill floor too high? Naut is not fun to play as.
A big part of it also depends on the meta which is why it's so hard to balance the fun factor. Sadly it's the most important for keeping your playerbase.


Role of the naut

Role of the naut:
A naut should keep its role through the balance suggestions. Turning every naut into a brawler is a way to fix the game, but will make it boring.
When trying to balance a naut a big effort has to be made to keep the nauts role. Mechanical changes should only be made to change the height of the skill floor and ceiling. And of course, you need to know what you want.
Adding/removing a weakness can be done, but should considered with caution as it could quickly ruin the naut.
More important is to keep what the naut is good at, good. If an ability a naut is in too good, a better alternative is to increase the naut's weaknesses and thus raising the skill floor.

What to avoid

I do believe that certain things should be avoided:
* One-man wombo combos.
* An upgrade that counters an entire part or an entire ability. UNLESS it has a major drawback (like CC shield on raelynn only works during the snipe; when she stands still for a short period of time).
* Duplicate upgrades that do the same thing.

One man wombo combos should be self explanatory: I should feel justified for dying. If I died, I did somethings stupid. Or should have seen it coming AND take precautions.
Not because the other naut has the power to kill me about anywhere on the map after the slightest misstep. Or if the naut has no ways to be countered.

Countering serves to make the give the game depth, which is good. However upgrades should NOT have the power to render nauts useless. (CC immunity, RBAY and deflect)
It removes the fun out of the game for the people trying to play agaisnt those upgrades. And once again you don't feel justified for losing, since you have lost from the moment the upgrade was bought. (Believe it or not, RBAY is the least bad out of the three)

Duplicate upgrades are the least problematic, but still a problem regardless.
When there's duplicates of upgrades the naut has less diversity. Since essentially there's going to be 5 upgrades, the other one will only be used for stacking purposes and will always end up being worse than the other one. They don't gimp the naut as much as you'd think though. Since you can pick 3 upgrades on each row one playstyle can consist of amassing as much damage as possible while dropping one of the damage upgrades would open up other playstyles. It is near impossible to balance duplicate upgrades against eachother however, which is the big problem of duplicates.


Things to keep in mind when balancing

Buffing bad upgrades with price changes.

A bad upgrade is a bad upgrade, changing its price won't magically make it good.
It'll make it more worth it to take, but if it's outclassed by every upgrade it still not going to be.


Nerfing the only playstyle of a character without compensation.

If a character has only one playstyle, chances are the other playstyles are just bad and not worth going for.
Things should be done to increase diversity of playstyles along with nerfing the OP one.


Don't underestimate mobility.

It's crazy how much mobility affects a character, it's not damage but it's the next best thing.
Mobility buffs should be taken with caution and mobility nerfs considered.


Fixing mandatory upgrades

There's a lot of ways this can go about. Putting the upgrade at base could fix the issue, but could also make the naut too powerful at base.
Always consider the fact you are freeing up one slot on top of the amount of solar it took to purchase it.

Converting part of it is the more common way to go and the safest too.

Nerfing the upgrade would also prevent it from being mandatory - in some cases.
It is important to remember that if an upgrade is being taken because it's the only good playstyle, other playstyles should be created.


Unpopular upgrades

This is a very easy trap to fall into. Do not buff an upgrade just because it's underused.
It might be actually really good, but outshined by other OP upgrades. Or maybe it just doesn't fit the meta but would otherwise be a great pick.

Or it is also possible that people underestimate the upgrade.
If that's the case the best way to go about is to slightly buff it to give people the feeling it's "actually good now". Once people realise it's too good nerf it back to it's original position.
(this happened with codfather)

Should every naut be casual?

Even in casual games it's very hard to make everything casual. What's important is that the game has a lot of gateways for any kind of person to be able to start playing. But sacrificing balance just to make a naut more viable in soloQ is not the smartest of decisions. Also because it's perfectly fine to not have every naut be viable in soloQ.

Small intermezzo:

Should a bug be fixed?

Bugs usually have a negative co-notation of causing effects that weren't intended by the game mechanics.
But, does that mean that you should patch every bug? Some bugs that require a set-up or specific set of actions could add depth to the game.
In that case it's better to integrate them as actual game features that help raise the skill ceiling of the affected characters.
One really good example of such an integration is the combo-systems in fighting games, which originated as a bug.
It is of course important to look at the individual bugs separately and decide which ones add to the game and which ones hurt it.



How to balance in 4 steps

When you're going to balance a skill the following steps should be taken to ensure an accurate nerf/buff is done.


1. Determine if said skill is OP/UP or is simply being QQ'd about

Argumentation should always be provided when balancing.
Am I good at the game?
Have I tried to adapt my strategy when facing/using said naut/upgrade?
Have I tried to make use of my team to take care of the problem? (it's a team game after all)
Is it a problem on/against the majority of the nauts?

If the answer to at least 3 questions is "yes", then there's a very big chance that the said upgrade/skill is actually OP. And you can go on with the next step:


2. Structurise the big picture

What is the said naut's weaknesses?
What are his roles?
How is the naut meant to be played?
And most importantly: what is/are the issues?

You need to know what the naut is supposed to play like, that way you don't mechanically break the naut when balancing.
The initial purpose of a skill should be its main point.
Everything else is secondary and should be added in as upgrades to give the skill more versatility.
However, upgrades that conflict with the main purpose of the skill should be avoided. Unless they change the way the skill is used while keeping the main use of the skill itself intact.
A good example for this would be gnome. Gnome is meant as a ranged burst poke on an initiating skill. It shouldn't hurt the guy that's being initiated, since that conflicts with the fact that it's an initation.
It can still be used as a separate attack to add variation on skolldir. That without changing the base skill.

Seeing the big picture also makes it easier to troubleshoot the problem and make changes in the right direction.
Don't see the upgrade on its own. See it in combination of the rest of what the naut has to offer. And possibly even its opponents.
There's two combinations of roles that shouldn't exist: Brawler support and Initiator and brawler.
Brawler support is an oxymoron. If a naut is support he should have primarily defencive damaging abilities (Genji has droidclear AA, Yuri has area denial mines, voltar has defencive drones etc.). A brawler can have support upgrades usually without it being a problem. As long as there's only 1-2 of them.
Initiator and brawler is a dangerous combo that will always be OP. It's in fact a one-man wombo combo. It works in other mobas, but awesomenauts is too fastpaced for it to work here.
high damage on initiator skills should therefor be avoided. Unless it's strictly a self-initiation skill (like Swiggin's anchor hook).


3. Proposal of changes

This depends from case to case. Every kind of change should be done based on where the problem comes from.
However, if more than one satisfactory change has been proposed, it's more interesting to use the one that adds depth to the game.

When the upgrade simply scales badly, it should recieve price or value changes.
Either by adding/removing a stage, simply changing the price or change the damage/time values etc.

If the upgrade has too much endgame power, a stage could be removed or number changes can be made. If you want to make the naut a carry (or if he already is) you can make his lategame harder to attain. (Not on a support!)

If a utility is very spammable for what it does, the cooldown/charge time should be increased. (Apply babysteps here!)

An upgrade should only be removed if it's counterintuitive to the naut's design, is just broken in a way it can't be fixed, is a very specific counter to something else or is a third variation of higher strict damage on the same row.

If a good idea for an upgrade is found it should replace a duplicate upgrade.

You usually don't want to have 2 stacking upgrades because they won't stand out from the rest of the upgrades or they will end up simply being op. One of the upgrades will also be forced into a niche spot where it's only picked up for stacking of upgrades.

If the skill itself is imbalanced, indirect changes can be made to higher/lower skill floor.
Those can be speed changes, health changes, mobility changes or animation changes. I believe the latter two aren't used enough. Making a dangerous attack more telegraphed can make it less successful without weakening it.

If a certain CC is over/underwhelming then either the duration or the percentage should be changed .

If an upgrade is underused it doesn't mean it's underpowered. It may mean that the other upgrades outweight it because they are being OP, or people simply haven't tried the upgrade.

Another very important thing to keep in mind is not to balance for the sake of a balance. if an upgrade is fine then there's no need for changes. This will lead to powercreep, where characters get overbuffed (like 2.12 lonestar).


4. Testing

Have the changes worked?
If yes: good!
If no: Revert the changes and try something else. (I can't stress out enough how important reverting the change first is important.)


How much to balance

How many changes should a naut recieve?

The ideal amount of characters being focused on every patch IMO would be 3.
I'd say about 2 major changes for the nauts being focused on, max 2-3 for minor balancing. A major change would be a change that affects more than 2 upgrades/the naut itself.
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT make more than two separate changes to the same upgrade row (which also includes the base upgrade row). (basically apply babysteps here)
Changes should not be seen individually, always in group. If a group of changes is made to fix a single issue it should be seen as one big change.
Big changes should also be reserved for the focused nauts.

Which nauts to focus on?
Usually the most broken, least reliable or most OP nauts should be focused on.
Importancy comes from how much of the game's experience is ruined by their current state.


if you disagree with anything written here post constructive criticism on how to make this more accurate, thank you. (Also reading the whole thing first helps)

This is based on experience and asking around to other people, it also still gets tweaked every once in a while.

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My concise guide to balancing
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The year is 20XX. Everyone can play Awesomenauts to niki levels of perfection. All gameplay has been deemed irrelevant and matches are decided by a game of Roflnauts. All new metas are based on Roflnauts DMs.


Last edited by Gameinsky on Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:17 pm, edited 30 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Elaborated guide to balance
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:02 pm 
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Kindoff completely unrelated but games were created (This includes sports and such also) to allow for short term victories you could achieve more easily than something like per say getting a good job.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Elaborated guide to balance
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:05 pm 
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Blabble wrote:
Kindoff completely unrelated but games were created (This includes sports and such also) to allow for short term victories you could achieve more easily than something like per say getting a good job.
Image

Elaborate?

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My concise guide to balancing
Cynderp wrote:
The year is 20XX. Everyone can play Awesomenauts to niki levels of perfection. All gameplay has been deemed irrelevant and matches are decided by a game of Roflnauts. All new metas are based on Roflnauts DMs.


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 Post subject: Re: Elaborated guide to balance
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:15 pm 
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Gameinsky wrote:
Blabble wrote:
Kindoff completely unrelated but games were created (This includes sports and such also) to allow for short term victories you could achieve more easily than something like per say getting a good job.
Image

Elaborate?

From what ive understood..

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5jDspIC4hY) Really interesting video, you should watch it.


Christ i shouldnt post in balance. :derp:

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 Post subject: Re: Elaborated guide to balance
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:55 pm 
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Niceeeee, sticky this please :)
I agree with almost everything, this is a correct and useful and informative guide.

Just regarding crutches:

I would say MrTNT is also kinda a crutch upgrade.
Some say ittl isn't but it does make hitting enemies easier and "only" adds more AoE^^
Crutch upgrades also make it safer (FFP) and are also compltely viable in higher leagues and competitive.
I don't think they are bad and tey should definitely stay.

While I agree that Damage upgrades are the core upgrades and > other upgrades, there are also exceptions like Skolldir's AA or Clunk's Vacuum Bite.
You should say that every 'naut needs enough damage, then he can build utility (or whatever) on abilities that are capable of dealing lots of damage.
I have actually been thinking about writing a similar, shorter guide regarding suggestions and balance ideas:

What is the problem?
Would my proposed change be fun, not mandatory, (undependent) and easy to implement?

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 Post subject: Re: Elaborated guide to balance
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:57 pm 
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Is it really an issue? Does this upchange fit to the 'naut!)? Is this the simplest, yer great way to fix the problem?

Etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Elaborated guide to balance
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:02 pm 
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thanks for the reply Jakob, I'm pretty sure that the whole guide in one way or another already says that damage and utility upgrades should evenly be spread around tho.

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My concise guide to balancing
Cynderp wrote:
The year is 20XX. Everyone can play Awesomenauts to niki levels of perfection. All gameplay has been deemed irrelevant and matches are decided by a game of Roflnauts. All new metas are based on Roflnauts DMs.


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 Post subject: Re: Elaborated guide to balance
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:29 am 
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I disagree greatly (sorry....)

But while reading through it all, I come to like the "Balance in 4 steps"-Part.
So rejoice dear Gameinsky :kiss:


First to the part where I disagree:


Skill Floor/Ceiling:
I googled skill floor/ceiling since it is a very vague term and is connected to a lot of subjectivity.
http://zandagamedesign.blogspot.ch/2010 ... loors.html

Quote:
Skill Ceiling - This is the term for the maximum amount of skill that can be applied to a player controlled unit with regards to its technical limitations.


Quote:
A Skill Floor is the application of the amount of skill yielded from the lowest amount of experience with the unit, game, or genre of game in question.


I like both these definitions better.

Your definition of Skill floor I read as highRisk-highReward (similar to glass cannons).
Your definition of Skill ceiling I read as build diversity.


Fun:
Fun is another difficult topic and I only like to say that an article that doesn't address the subjective nature of "Fun" is lacking.
Fun can be a million things in a game and a multitude of people have written about "Fun" in games like SC2, WoW or MtG.


Role of the Naut:
While I can agree that we shouldn't just change the foundation of a char, this never happens and rarely gets proposed.
Imho shortening the weedling-planting animation raised the skill floor (since it got easier) and the skill ceiling (it got useful, therefore players used this mechanical aspect more) of playing gnaw.
The area daniel stuff and the comparison with lone I don't understand.


What to avoid:
[Disclaimer: You use "justified", "fun" and "countered" like facts and I say they are subjective, they play no role in the game and/or are wrong. This is subjective as well.]
- Combos: Combos will always exist. Glass Cannons will always exist. Ganks out of a Brush will also always exist.
- Countering: Is imho one of the most interesting mechanics in the game build order wise as well as in a fight. You can always try to bait a skill which "counters" you. We have devised so many tactics to fight cc immunity (yuribubblnerf was very cool) and rbay like to name a few "mhmmm, I can just wait out the duration of his shield" or just killing someone else or running away for the duration.
- Crutches: Since you only say Fake Fam Pictures is a Crutch I don't have to be wordy here. FFP could also be seen as a poking tool, a dmg-upgrade or an hp-tool instead of a crutch though.
- Doublestacking: I skip this.

Quote:
Every upgrade should be evenly good

I disagree strongly. I like the fact that "skill testers" are in the game. Upgrades that just aren't that good (maybe only in the current meta) and it is the players job to realize this.
Not all upgrades are created equal and build diversity isn't the end all be all.
I lost games bc players played treebank-cd-reduction on lb into reg on coco.
I don't want that build to be viable, I want the game to be a bit demanding from the playerbase.




Balance in 4 steps:
1. aye
2. I would like to add that:
- If you can fix something with number tweaks/pricenerfs, try that first. (nvm.... it's in 3.)
- That part about Brawler/Initiator and Brawler/Support always being OP is very interesting, I have to ponder over this statement. Never thought about it in this terms.
- Big picture and your sentences is also very subjective.
- I reserved my judgement on a lot of things since we haven't had any data yet and I tried focusing on finding answers that were ingame. With the upcoming data tools I hope we can Identify the problems especially in lower leagues in a more accurate way.
3. aye
4. I also like overhauls like Coco pricechanges, Voltar redesigns every other patch (Ronimo is very close, I can feel it :lolstar: ) and Lonestar-scaling in 1.15-1.18.
But yes, some small changes are generally better.





Sorry for Wall of Text to your Wall of Text.
I'm sorry for disagreeing with your definitions, your "opinion=fact"-approach and also some of your key points.

It should be noted that I only post my opinion too and that I like every discussion about Fun, build diversity, Naut identity and skill.

To be honest I always take a backseat to balance and am really waiting for data analyzing tool to bear some fruits which will hopefully be shared with the balance forums.
Until then the only Data we get from lower leagues are sadly only anecdotes and your guide hopefully make those posts a bit more useful.


glhf

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 Post subject: Re: Elaborated guide to balance
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:40 am 
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Response in blue.


tourrettturan wrote:
I disagree greatly (sorry....)
Seen your other comment redirected to me, that was kind of expected

But while reading through it all, I come to like the "Balance in 4 steps"-Part.
So rejoice dear Gameinsky :kiss:


First to the part where I disagree:


Skill Floor/Ceiling:
I googled skill floor/ceiling since it is a very vague term and is connected to a lot of subjectivity.
http://zandagamedesign.blogspot.ch/2010 ... loors.html

Quote:
Skill Ceiling - This is the term for the maximum amount of skill that can be applied to a player controlled unit with regards to its technical limitations.


Quote:
A Skill Floor is the application of the amount of skill yielded from the lowest amount of experience with the unit, game, or genre of game in question.


I like both these definitions better.

Your definition of Skill floor I read as highRisk-highReward (similar to glass cannons).
Your definition of Skill ceiling I read as build diversity.


Ok, I never stated what skill floor/ceiling are.
You're presuming these to be my definitions.
That's not true.

For me skill floor is how much skill you require to play the naut decently.
Skill ceiling is how much can be done with the character if the player had perfect skills with it.
(Skill ceiling is ahrd to word right :derp:



Fun:
Fun is another difficult topic and I only like to say that an article that doesn't address the subjective nature of "Fun" is lacking.
Fun can be a million things in a game and a multitude of people have written about "Fun" in games like SC2, WoW or MtG.


Role of the Naut:
While I can agree that we shouldn't just change the foundation of a char, this never happens and rarely gets proposed.
Imho shortening the weedling-planting animation raised the skill floor (since it got easier) and the skill ceiling (it got useful, therefore players used this mechanical aspect more) of playing gnaw.
The area daniel stuff and the comparison with lone I don't understand.
"raised the skill floor (since it got easier)"
Yes.



What to avoid:
[Disclaimer: You use "justified", "fun" and "countered" like facts and I say they are subjective, they play no role in the game and/or are wrong. This is subjective as well.]
I'm pretty sure you'd want to feel justified for everything that happens in real life as well as in games.
Of course everything is subjective.
Balance on its own is suggestive, there's so many ways to balance.



- Combos: Combos will always exist. Glass Cannons will always exist. Ganks out of a Brush will also always exist.

I specifically stated one-man-wombo-combos.
Inescapable combos done by a single naut.
I never said I didn't like glass cannons.
I never said anything about ganking out of the bush.


- Countering: Is imho one of the most interesting mechanics in the game build order wise as well as in a fight. You can always try to bait a skill which "counters" you. We have devised so many tactics to fight cc immunity (yuribubblnerf was very cool) and rbay like to name a few "mhmmm, I can just wait out the duration of his shield" or just killing someone else or running away for the duration.
- Crutches: Since you only say Fake Fam Pictures is a Crutch I don't have to be wordy here. FFP could also be seen as a poking tool, a dmg-upgrade or an hp-tool instead of a crutch though.
- Doublestacking: I skip this.

Quote:
Every upgrade should be evenly good

I disagree strongly. I like the fact that "skill testers" are in the game. Upgrades that just aren't that good (maybe only in the current meta) and it is the players job to realize this.
Not all upgrades are created equal and build diversity isn't the end all be all.
I lost games bc players played treebank-cd-reduction on lb into reg on coco.
I don't want that build to be viable, I want the game to be a bit demanding from the playerbase.

Like you said yourself. Subjective.
Good doesn't mean that the upgrade should do more damage, or should be more useful.
It should mean that the upgrade has an equal amount of reason to pick than all the other upgrades.




Balance in 4 steps:
1. aye
2. I would like to add that:
- If you can fix something with number tweaks/pricenerfs, try that first. (nvm.... it's in 3.)
I will specify to always chose the easiest workaround.
- That part about Brawler/Initiator and Brawler/Support always being OP is very interesting, I have to ponder over this statement. Never thought about it in this terms.
- Big picture and your sentences is also very subjective.
- I reserved my judgement on a lot of things since we haven't had any data yet and I tried focusing on finding answers that were ingame. With the upcoming data tools I hope we can Identify the problems especially in lower leagues in a more accurate way.
3. aye
4. I also like overhauls like Coco pricechanges, Voltar redesigns every other patch (Ronimo is very close, I can feel it :lolstar: ) and Lonestar-scaling in 1.15-1.18.
But yes, some small changes are generally better.





Sorry for Wall of Text to your Wall of Text.
I'm sorry for disagreeing with your definitions, your "opinion=fact"-approach and also some of your key points.

It should be noted that I only post my opinion too and that I like every discussion about Fun, build diversity, Naut identity and skill.

To be honest I always take a backseat to balance and am really waiting for data analyzing tool to bear some fruits which will hopefully be shared with the balance forums.
Until then the only Data we get from lower leagues are sadly only anecdotes and your guide hopefully make those posts a bit more useful.


glhf

_________________
My concise guide to balancing
Cynderp wrote:
The year is 20XX. Everyone can play Awesomenauts to niki levels of perfection. All gameplay has been deemed irrelevant and matches are decided by a game of Roflnauts. All new metas are based on Roflnauts DMs.


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 Post subject: Re: Elaborated guide to balance
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:30 am 
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This guide is very narrowly focused. You have character and upgrade balance in here. What about balance in overall game mechanics? Asymmetrical balance between teams? If this is a guide to naut/upgrade balance and interactions, then you should state that this is focused primarily on that.

Many points could be simplified, others could be improved. Some terms are inconclusive or are not defined objectively. Others are targeting the wrong subjects based on a perceived problem which is actually rooted somewhere else. If I were to tell you everything I disagree with here, I would just end up writing my own guide in the process... But there is one thing I should pick up on that would make my point.

Your "3 stacking damage or 2 non-damage stacking" upgrades rule is your weakest point in the article. What is your definition of "stacking"? Does this rule become irrelevant if several combinations stack equally well with each other, such as with Lonestar's blaster and dynamite? Why is it okay that autoattacks can have 3 damage upgrades but skills can't? Do you define damage as damage per shot or damage per second? What about piercing/AOE upgrades, and additional projectiles such as missiles, grenades, and the garden gnome? You say that multiple damage upgrades cannot be balanced against utility upgrades and then immediately afterward point to Coco's ball and Lonestar's dynamite as exceptions to the rule. If your rule doesn't apply to certain skills and doesn't apply to any autoattacks, then why should the rule apply for anything else? Maybe Splash Dash's row can be balanced with three damage items. Ever considered amping the strength of his non-damage items?

And I disagree on the notion that multiple items of the same type has a negative effect on gameplay variety. A Lonestar who stacks damage on his blaster can play very differently than one who saves a slot for a missile or booming bullets. With Froggy G's dash, it is the difference between a a glass cannon, a damage-dodging master, and an in-between. If anything can be said for items of the same type, it is that it centralizes that skill toward a smaller set of gameplay ideas and allows players to fine-tune his inclinations toward each strength.

Not all of your points are bad, but for a full-length guide on how to balance the game, this feels very subjective. I'm not too surprised about that of course, as very few people fully grasp how Awesomenauts' balance works. If I were to write a full-length guide on how to balance the game, I would only rely on three people for info on how to make it work: frankie, Nemnom, and myself. These are the only people I know who are able to approach balance on both a global and fundamental level.

Also, this article is longer and harder to read than it needs to be due to bad formatting and idea structuring.

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