History Main / CharacterTiers

24th Feb '18 12:45:28 PM WillKeaton
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* David Sirlin (who did balancing for StreetFighter and Puzzle Fighter HD Remix) accepts that perfect balance is impossible, as characters with differing abilities will always have advantages and disadvantages over each other, but believes that the God Tier and Garbage Tier should be empty, and that no specific character-versus-character matchup should give more than a 6-4 advantage (meaning that if equally-skilled players play ten matches, the character with the advantage should at most win six and lose four). His own games (Kongai, and especially the tabletop games Puzzle Strike, Flash Duel, and Yomi) go through ''years'' of playtesting and tweaking in search of this.

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* David Sirlin (who did balancing for StreetFighter ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' and Puzzle ''Puzzle Fighter HD Remix) Remix'') accepts that perfect balance is impossible, as characters with differing abilities will always have advantages and disadvantages over each other, but believes that the God Tier and Garbage Tier should be empty, and that no specific character-versus-character matchup should give more than a 6-4 advantage (meaning that if equally-skilled players play ten matches, the character with the advantage should at most win six and lose four). His own games (Kongai, and especially the tabletop games Puzzle Strike, Flash Duel, and Yomi) go through ''years'' of playtesting and tweaking in search of this.
5th Feb '18 3:44:33 PM Sylian
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* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'': The competitive ''Smash'' community maintains tier lists for each game decided upon by top-level players on Smash Boards. Most tournaments are composed exclusively of high and top-tier characters, because other characters are generally seen as too weak or too finicky to be competitive. Special tournaments are sometimes run where players are restricted to playing mid-tier and below characters.

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* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'': The competitive ''Smash'' community maintains tier lists for each game decided upon by top-level players on Smash Boards. Most tournaments are composed exclusively of high and top-tier characters, because other characters are generally seen as too weak or too finicky to be consistently competitive. Special tournaments are sometimes run where players are restricted to playing mid-tier and below characters.



** Thanks to the occasional balance patch and a roster that's ten times more balanced than ''Brawl''[='=]s was, the tier lists in ''For 3DS/Wii U'' has a case similar to ''Street Fighter 4''[='s=] where the bad characters aren't that much worse compared to the top tiers and even bottom-tier characters are capable of impressive tournament placing, given some effort. That said, pre 1.06 patch, Diddy Kong was seen by many as the new Meta Knight due to a frustratingly good down throw to up-air combo many came to call "Hoo-hah". [[ComplacentGamingSyndrome It got so ridiculous that at one point, it was common to see Grand Finals of Smash 4 tournaments where both players used him.]] Diddy ended up getting nerfed throughout two different patches; although initially perceived to have dropped from top to high tier, players who mained him discovered that although he was indeed less powerful in certain areas, his greatest strengths remain untouched, and he retains his top-level placement.
*** With that said, Sheik, a character who was already universally considered back in the ''Melee'' days to be top tier, has since become ''the'' best character in the meta game. Even patches haven't nerfed her all that much if at all.
*** The characters introduced through DLC have all been unique cases similar to Little Mac or Ike from ''Brawl'' in that at first, they tend to perform well if not dominate the meta game until players get enough match up familiarity to counter them. Of all the characters introduced through DLC, Mewtwo was initially considered to still be a low-tier mess, even after having been buffed from ''Melee'', until a series of patches nullified or alleviated most of his weaknesses and turned him into a viable top-tier fighter. Fellow ''Melee'' veteran Roy wasn't as lucky and remains low on the tier list, largely due to his bad approach. Lucas plays about the same as he did in ''Brawl'' as a low/mid tier character. Ryu is considered to be high-tier, since his being a JackOfAllStats in his home series plus his combo oriented style of play from said series translates well to a ''Smash Bros.'' game.
*** This isn't even beginning to mention how Cloud Strife affects the meta game. Wanna know how crazy he is? Players of all sorts simply discarded their mains for Cloud and ''still'' did well or started placing much higher at their weekly local tournaments. Granted he has some of the worst recovery and a very limited throw game, but that's just a small price to pay for his insane priority and being able to smash at ''60% or even less.''
*** Corrin is perceived as a solid mid to mid-high tier because of his/her unique shapeshifting moves and an ability to pin his/her opponents into the ground which can then be cancelled into another move.

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** Thanks to the occasional balance patch and a roster that's ten times significantly more balanced than ''Brawl''[='=]s was, the tier lists in ''For 3DS/Wii U'' has a case similar to ''Street Fighter 4''[='s=] where the bad characters aren't that much worse compared to the top tiers and even bottom-tier low-tier characters are capable of impressive decent tournament placing, placings, given some effort. That said, pre 1.06 patch, Diddy Kong was seen by many as the new Meta Knight due to a frustratingly good down throw to up-air combo many came to call "Hoo-hah". [[ComplacentGamingSyndrome It got so ridiculous that at one point, it was common to see Grand Finals of Smash 4 tournaments where both players used him.]] Diddy ended up getting nerfed throughout two different patches; although initially perceived to have dropped from top to high tier, players who mained him discovered that although he was indeed less powerful in certain areas, his greatest strengths remain untouched, and he retains his top-level placement.
*** With that said, Sheik, a character who was already universally considered back in the ''Melee'' days to be top tier, has since become ''the'' one of the best character in the meta game. Even At one point, she was the best character in the game, though patches haven't nerfed brought her all that much if at all.
down a bit. She still solidly remains in top tier.
*** The characters introduced through DLC have all been unique cases similar to Little Mac or Ike from ''Brawl'' in that at first, they tend to perform well if not dominate the meta game until players get enough match up familiarity to counter them. Of all the characters introduced through DLC, Mewtwo was initially considered to still be a low-tier mess, even after having been buffed from ''Melee'', until a series of patches nullified or alleviated most of his weaknesses and turned him into a viable top-tier fighter. Fellow ''Melee'' veteran Roy wasn't as lucky and remains low on the tier list, largely due to his bad approach. Lucas plays about the same as he did in ''Brawl'' as a low/mid low-mid tier character. Ryu is considered to be high-tier, since his being a JackOfAllStats in his home series plus his combo oriented style of play from said series translates well to a ''Smash Bros.'' game.
*** This isn't even beginning to mention how Cloud Strife affects the meta game. Wanna know how crazy he is? Players of all sorts simply discarded their mains for Cloud and ''still'' did well or started placing much higher at their weekly local tournaments. Granted he has some of the worst recovery and a very limited throw game, but that's just a small price to pay for his insane priority and being able to smash KO at ''60% ''70% or even less.''
*** Corrin is perceived as a solid mid high to mid-high top tier character because of his/her unique shapeshifting moves incredible frame data, disjointed attacks, good kill power, and an ability to his/her signature move, Dragon Lunge, which lets him/her pin his/her opponents into the ground which can then be cancelled into another move.ground.
3rd Feb '18 1:16:52 PM nombretomado
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** This is usually deliberate. Since these are single-player games, there's no need for the classes to be balanced, and this is one way to adjust the difficulty level. The Tourist in NetHack is clearly intended as a challenge class (though it does offer some late-game advantages, if the early game can be survived).

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** This is usually deliberate. Since these are single-player games, there's no need for the classes to be balanced, and this is one way to adjust the difficulty level. The Tourist in NetHack ''VideoGame/NetHack'' is clearly intended as a challenge class (though it does offer some late-game advantages, if the early game can be survived).
2nd Feb '18 11:29:58 AM hollow49
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Added DiffLines:

** This is usually deliberate. Since these are single-player games, there's no need for the classes to be balanced, and this is one way to adjust the difficulty level. The Tourist in NetHack is clearly intended as a challenge class (though it does offer some late-game advantages, if the early game can be survived).
23rd Jan '18 6:51:08 PM ironcommando
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* Another non-gaming example: ''WebVideo/TierZoo'', a video that places animals into tier lists depending on how well they can survive as a species. Rankings are determined by various factors such as stats (Intelligence, Power, Defence, Speed, Health and Stealth), abilities that the animal has (such as venom or armor piercing bites) and finally, how well they match-up against predators and prey in the "server" (habitat).

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* Another non-gaming example: ''WebVideo/TierZoo'', a video series that treats life like an MMO game and places animals into tier lists depending on how well they can survive as a species. Rankings are determined by various factors such as stats (Intelligence, Power, Defence, Speed, Health and Stealth), abilities that the animal has (such as venom or armor piercing bites) and finally, how well they match-up against predators and prey in the "server" (habitat).
23rd Jan '18 6:50:21 PM ironcommando
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Added DiffLines:

* Another non-gaming example: ''WebVideo/TierZoo'', a video that places animals into tier lists depending on how well they can survive as a species. Rankings are determined by various factors such as stats (Intelligence, Power, Defence, Speed, Health and Stealth), abilities that the animal has (such as venom or armor piercing bites) and finally, how well they match-up against predators and prey in the "server" (habitat).
17th Jan '18 11:21:48 AM slvstrChung
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* Non-gaming example: ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''. The setting's magic-users, [[OurMagesAreDifferent channelers]], draw on The One Power, the very juice of creation itself. The ''amount'' of Power any given channeler can wield is an important metric (especially with the SealedEvilInACan breaking free and a SavingTheWorldClimax looming), but pinning them down specifically would have led to endless FanWank about PowerLevels. To avoid this, author Robert Jordan ''deliberately'' classed his characters into tiers, simply saying "[[PluckyGirl Egwene]] is about as strong as [[PrincessClassic Elayne]], but [[TheBigGuy Nynaeve]] is stronger than either of them," without bothering to be specific about how much stronger Nynaeve was. (And then we add in the fact that channeling is a GenderRestrictedAbility, and that men have their own tiers, which Jordan specifically refused to cross-correlate with the female ones. And ''then'' we add in the fact that the QuirkyMinibossSquad are all "at least as strong as Nynaeve, but we don't really know how much stronger". And '''''then''''' we add in the fact that said QuirkyMinibossSquad can also channel power directly from the BigBad. And that's how fans get obsessed with ''The Wheel of Time''.)

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* Non-gaming example: ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''. The setting's magic-users, [[OurMagesAreDifferent channelers]], draw on The One Power, the very juice of creation itself. The ''amount'' of Power any given channeler can wield is an important metric (especially with the SealedEvilInACan breaking free and a SavingTheWorldClimax SaveTheWorldClimax looming), but pinning them down specifically would have led to endless FanWank about PowerLevels. To avoid this, author Robert Jordan ''deliberately'' classed his characters into tiers, simply saying "[[PluckyGirl Egwene]] is about as strong as [[PrincessClassic Elayne]], but [[TheBigGuy Nynaeve]] is stronger than either of them," without bothering to be specific about how much stronger Nynaeve was. (And then we add in the fact that channeling is a GenderRestrictedAbility, and that men have their own tiers, which Jordan specifically refused to cross-correlate with the female ones. And ''then'' we add in the fact that the QuirkyMinibossSquad are all "at least as strong as Nynaeve, but we don't really know how much stronger". And '''''then''''' we add in the fact that said QuirkyMinibossSquad can also channel power directly from the BigBad. And that's how fans get obsessed with ''The Wheel of Time''.)
17th Jan '18 11:20:53 AM slvstrChung
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Added DiffLines:

* Non-gaming example: ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''. The setting's magic-users, [[OurMagesAreDifferent channelers]], draw on The One Power, the very juice of creation itself. The ''amount'' of Power any given channeler can wield is an important metric (especially with the SealedEvilInACan breaking free and a SavingTheWorldClimax looming), but pinning them down specifically would have led to endless FanWank about PowerLevels. To avoid this, author Robert Jordan ''deliberately'' classed his characters into tiers, simply saying "[[PluckyGirl Egwene]] is about as strong as [[PrincessClassic Elayne]], but [[TheBigGuy Nynaeve]] is stronger than either of them," without bothering to be specific about how much stronger Nynaeve was. (And then we add in the fact that channeling is a GenderRestrictedAbility, and that men have their own tiers, which Jordan specifically refused to cross-correlate with the female ones. And ''then'' we add in the fact that the QuirkyMinibossSquad are all "at least as strong as Nynaeve, but we don't really know how much stronger". And '''''then''''' we add in the fact that said QuirkyMinibossSquad can also channel power directly from the BigBad. And that's how fans get obsessed with ''The Wheel of Time''.)
12th Jan '18 4:53:59 PM Matt620
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** [[KnightErrant Glenn]] is considered one of the best in the game, and the principal reason to [[spoiler:not help Kid when she is poisoned.]] The alternative choice gives Razzly, who is a fantastic mage, but the player almost always have [[GirlNextDoor Leena]], who is just as good, only tougher. Later in the game, Karsh is almost always picked over Zoah for the same reason, and Irenes tends to be the go-to pick if Harle's black elemental nature would do more harm than good.

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** [[KnightErrant Glenn]] is considered one of the best in the game, and the principal reason to [[spoiler:not help Kid when she is poisoned.]] The alternative choice gives Razzly, who two useless characters and Razzly. While she is a fantastic mage, but the player almost always will already have [[GirlNextDoor Leena]], who is just as good, only tougher. Later in the game, Karsh is almost always picked over Zoah for since the same reason, and player already has a powerful Yellow innate with Norris. Irenes tends to be the go-to pick if Harle's black elemental nature would do more harm than good.



* ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile'' has a lot of characters but they are clearly examples of Character Tiers. Partly due to a few very powerful weapons that can last until the end of the main game can be obtained early and just make the two Lancers or the heavy swordsmen extremely powerful. Many characters of course cannot be perfectly balanced due to some attacks that have varying levels of power and usability. It's clearly established that almost all the Sorcerers are worthless (Due to several coming and only one is needed) or OvershadowedByAwesome, The archers except for Janus and Valkyrie Suck, and the sword users just CantCatchUp.
** But this changes in the seraphic gate where swords just ridiculously overpower everything.

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* ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile'' has a lot of characters but they are clearly examples of Character Tiers. Partly due The two lancers[[note]]Lawfer and Aelia[[/note]] tend to a few very powerful rank at the top because of their god-tier like weapons that can last until the end of the main game which are available starting in Chapter 2, and can be obtained early and just make the two Lancers or the purchased. The heavy swordsmen extremely powerful. Many characters of course cannot be perfectly balanced rank just below them, also due to some attacks that have varying levels of power weapons. The swordsmen are under that, and usability. It's clearly established that almost all the Sorcerers are worthless (Due to several coming and only one is needed) or OvershadowedByAwesome, The archers except for they fall under CantCatchUp. Janus and Valkyrie Suck, are extremely useful as archers, but Llewellyn and Badrach are useless. The sorcerers are fairly interchangeable. While there are tiers of them based on starting magic power[[note]]High tier are Gandar and Lyseria, mid-tier are Lorenta and Mystina, while the sword users just CantCatchUp.
bottom is everyone else[[/note]], the difference is minimal, and only one sorcerer is needed.
** But this changes in the seraphic gate Seraphic Gate where swords just ridiculously overpower everything.



* Companions of the same class in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' have access to the same class abilities, so they are pretty much interchangeable in the party... until you unlock the [[PrestigeClass Specializations]], that is. Since each companion has a predetermined spec in this game, and not all specs are equally powerful and/or useful, it induces a certain inequality. Among party mages, for instance, the [[MagicKnight Knight-Enchanter]] Vivienne is easily the best pick, as her specialization counteracts most of the weaknesses inherent to her class (low defenses, lack of effective melee capabilities), while also boosting the party's overall survivability; Solas, whose Rift Mage spec gives him an impressive damage output boost, comes second, while Dorian's Necromancer abilities are sadly very situational and rarely see much use.

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* Companions of the same class in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' have access to the same class abilities, so they are pretty much interchangeable in the party... until you unlock the [[PrestigeClass Specializations]], that is. Since each companion has a predetermined spec in this game, and not all specs are equally powerful and/or useful, it induces a certain inequality. Among party mages, for instance, the [[MagicKnight Knight-Enchanter]] Vivienne is easily the best pick, as her specialization counteracts most of the weaknesses inherent to her class (low defenses, lack of effective melee capabilities), while also boosting the party's overall survivability; Solas, whose Rift Mage spec gives him an impressive damage output boost, comes second, second[[note]]This is also good if the party has two mages, because the AI can't properly handle Knight-Enchanter[[/note]], while Dorian's Necromancer abilities are sadly very situational and rarely see much use.


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* ''VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime'', due to it's real-time battle system, had a strong character tier system.
** Cliff and Maria were considered to be the two top-tier contenders. The former could lock enemies in place, and the latter did the most damage in the game. In the late game, Cliff's ultimate ability Max Shockwave is considered one of the game's best powers.
** Nel was considered a godsend in the early and mid-game, and she had skillful powers even in the late game, she just tended to be outclassed by the top two.
** Albel was hard to use, but his ability to juggle could be used against extremely powerful bosses like Lenneth and Freya. A skilled player could literally juggle the boss from one end of the arena to the other and prevent them from getting any attacks at all.
** Fayt had the game's highest defense, but his skills in the late game tended to taper off.
** Peppita, like Albel, was considered difficult to play, but good (if outclassed by Maria).
** Mirage was considered good at solo runs or useful on the AI, but she just wasn't as useful as the others.
** Sophia has powerful magic chains to lock enemies, but she does almost no damage and almost all her spells do elemental damage.
** At the bottom, Adray and Roger were considered to be a JokeCharacter who do nothing spectacular.
16th Dec '17 12:06:56 PM 0219110
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It seems inevitable when you've got a game with LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: the time will come when the only thing left is to try and figure out whether [[VideoGame/FireEmblem Lowen's]] early joining time on Eliwood/Hector mode and slighty higher base stats make up for joining later than a Lyn mode trained Paladin!Sain or Kent. It can be a polite discussion or a FlameWar; a debate of logic and reason or a contest to see who can stick their fingers in their ears the longest. It usually gives birth to legions of {{Scrub}}s and StopHavingFunGuys. If the game happens to have a competitive scene, expect even more of this.

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It seems inevitable when you've got a game with LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: the time will come when the only thing left is to try and figure out whether [[VideoGame/FireEmblem Lowen's]] early joining time on Eliwood/Hector mode and slighty higher base stats make up for joining later than compared to a Lyn mode trained Paladin!Sain or Kent. It can be a polite discussion or a FlameWar; a debate of logic and reason or a contest to see who can stick their fingers in their ears the longest. It usually gives birth to legions of {{Scrub}}s and StopHavingFunGuys. If the game happens to have a competitive scene, expect even more of this.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.CharacterTiers