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Balance in a nutshell
First I want to say that what I attempt to explain in this thread can reasonably be considered fact. This is because I've had experience with balance in the past, you see I once made many custom map games/ melee games/ game edits, back in SC1. I mainly did melee games for observer matches, many of which you might have played on, these maps required a special amount of balance. Indeed there is a considerable difference between map balance and overall game balance, particularly in the area of units. But for one to properly map balance, he must first understand each individual unit, and how it interacts with others. In the SC2 days I've taken the time to experiment with units in the editor, and fully understand each one. So I can assure you that you will walk away from this thread with new and correct knowledge.
Reasons for this thread-
I've come to the realization that on the forums and in the game that players do not fully understand the “art” of balance, thus they make assumptions, claims, and exaggerations that can hold little truth sometimes. This leads to fruitless arguments and discussions that become runons in a sense. So in an attempt to try and clarify the source of these contentions, balance, and to put a period on discussions before they become runons, I've created this thread.
Format of this thread-
I plan to keep it simple, and to get to the point as directly as possible. I will use examples, logic, and fact to explain balance. It will be written with subheaders so that you can find things and follow along with ease.
Let’s begin -
First we must know what balance means.
“1. An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.”
“2. Harmony of design and proportion”
With those definitions in mind, we can put it into nutshell form for Starcraft 2. Balance is more so a goal than a verb for Blizzard. It is to keep the game equal in all aspects possible, to eliminate unfairness among the players and races. Balance for Blizzard is like a goal for perfection, a perfection, which sadly cannot satisfy all. So what is the achievement point for the goal? One is not set, Blizzard will continue to make changes and improvements for years to come. But I can assure you that the game will reach a point where most people are satisfied with the balance.
How can balance be monitored? Well Blizzard uses many resources to create their statistics. A few for example are, Professional Starcraft League win rate statistics, Battle.net Forums, Email feedback, experimentation, typical game win rate statistics, and AI testing. Blizzard will use these to create balance solutions that they think will work. So try one of them and let blizzard know, not that that’s a problem for us. Blizzard can check to see if their balance worked if the numbers generated by these sources become closer and less varied in the given aspect.
Another aspect of balance is glitches, although a minor one, glitches do in fact effect balance. A glitch is an occurrence of something that was not intended to. Some glitches are purposefully left in because Blizzard believes that it improves game play, and ever so slightly evens out the statistical numbers we talked about. The others that don’t help are fixed because people like you and me report them.
Keep in mind that Blizzard staff essentially juggles all of this stuff in an attempt to perfect their juggling form in a sense. So cut them sum slack, because their jobs are not easy. Useless repetition of issues does not help in most cases. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of variables! So next time you get pissed at blizzard, just take a moment and put yourself in one of their shoes.
Balancing, not as simple as you think -
Example; Joe wants the colossus extra range removed because he feels it unfair to his raze, Zerg. A 10 page discussion begins and many beg Blizzard for change. But none happens, why?
To understand why, you must first understand how. How does blizzard go about balancing? Well you must understand that balance is no single change, think of it as a balance beam, or equation. On a balance beam, if you change the weight on one side, the beam becomes unbalanced until weight is added or subtracted. Likewise in an equation you must always make equal changes to both sides, or else the equation will become false. The same concept holds stunningly true for Starcraft. If a change to a unit is made, improvement or detraction MUST be made to other units. Don’t feel bad because you think Blizzard does not consider your theory, they most likely do! Note that the original purpose of the SC editor was to test balance. They still use it for the same purpose, they will most likely take your theory and test it with other balance to equal out the equation in the editor. There is no 1 in balance, there are no odd numbers in fact, there are only even numbers, because change must keep, and further balance the “Blizzard Balance Equation” as I have titled it.
So if you want some balance changes to be made, you might want to be sure and include suggestions for “Counter Balance” to keep the “BBE” true.
So what do we have? –
Well. some vocabulary you learned follows.
BBE, Blizzard Balance Equation
CB, Counter Balance
The correct definition and meaning of Balance pertaining to Starcraft
Balance Solution, a series of balance changes Blizzard incorporated into the game to increase balance
Game Statistics, what Blizzard uses to create Balance Solutions
Balance Quota, the ideal numbers blizzard wants the statistics to produce for each aspect
Keep all this in mind when you write a thread about balance please. Because to often do you assume that Blizzard can simply make a single change because people think it will help.
Nutshell Summary -
So now you know, and this thread is a success! Keep all of this in mind, and you may see the changes you want! I wrote this with a hopeful wish that I could become a sticky, so that everyone can know. Feel free to nominate it as one.
(Editing, revising, and updating of this thread will continue)
Edited by Duke on 10/3/2012 8:46 AM PDT
It's not this complex OP, balance means that two players of equal skill have an equal shot of winning. The reason people QQ about balance nonstop is because there is no set definition of skill and so we have complaints like X is a-move, roaches take no skill, w/e.
First of all *Sound Smart* Is incorrect. It should be "Is Smart* And most of this is FACT, not necessarily my wit.
And how do I fail miserably? Certainly not this thread! You must be referring to the hours of waited time people spend debating changes that never happen, and then get angry.
Clearly it's not obvious to everyone, because over 50% of the threads are like the one I just described.
Besides, jabbing me for doing a service is not very nice.
Edited by Duke on 10/3/2012 10:01 AM PDT
Look man i read through your crap and while I don't want to tell you that you're being retarded but, lets be honest, you are.
You need to use line spacing dude, its bad enough that most of what you are saying is mindless garbage (just because you state a fact doesn't stop it from being garbage).
Also don't argue and take it the wrong way because I am not attacking you, I can see that you obviously made the thread with good intentions but this isn't the way to do it, this thread is either going to turn into a popular rage thread with you flaming at ppl or ppl flaming at you or both.
I mean, how do you go off and discuss how people don't understand what balance is (which is true, I mean 95% of the people just play the damn game they aren't trying to make it their day job, and they suggest what they think) and then use a DICTIONARY definition as your premise ? It's just silly.
Basically what I'm saying is, this thread--while having good intentions--is pointless. But good luck though.
Edited by Veritas on 10/3/2012 10:24 AM PDT
Eh man, I understand your feedback, and I am afraid that I should have dulled it down a bit more. It's just that I've had many occupations in the realm of computer science, and have grow so accustom to people like me that I have forgotten that some people don't know as much.
Simply put, Folks need to learn about balance before they make hundreds of threads about it.
Your opinions are noted, but hey, this thread could be very useful to some people!
As for some of your comments, I have to disagree.
Edited by Duke on 10/3/2012 10:31 AM PDT
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