History Main / FakeBalance

10th Mar '17 2:07:06 PM justanid
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!!Examples:



[[folder:Card Games]]
* An example of a failed attempt of balance by rarity can be found in ''MagicTheGathering''. When the game was first released, it was known that cards such as Black Lotus, Ancestral Recall, Timetwister and the Moxes were game-breakingly powerful if present in sufficient quantities. However, they believed that since most players would only buy a starter deck and a couple of boosters, their power would never become an issue. This is especially evident when you look at the initial deck construction rules: 40-card minimum for decks, and no maximum for any individual cards. The deck of nothing but Black Lotus/Channel/Fireball was 100% legal, and that's not even the most powerful deck you could build. Constructed tournament later evolved to have a 60 card minimum limit and a maximum of 4 individual non-land cards, thus effectively removing the fake balance.
** Modern ''Magic The Gathering'' still has balance by rarity as a rarity level above rare, called mythic rare, was added in the Shards of Alara expansion. It should be noted that rarity balance exists in limited formats, such as booster draft and sealed deck, where certain powerful cards could easily help the player to win but they may well not get one of these cards, let alone multiple copies, but does not exist in constructed play where people will [[SeriousBusiness spend whatever it takes to win]].
*** In ''Magic'' limited formats, there is the ''BREAD'' principle, which describe what card to draft - Bombs, Removal, Evasion, Advantage and Dregs. While Removal, Evasion, Advantage and Dregs cards are available in every rarity, Bombs are usually in the rare slot. A deck with a good amount of bomb and removal cards usually has a considerable upper hand. Whether a player obtained those cards by luck or by skills is something that is often discussed in [=MTG=] boards. Large amounts of removal can make up for a lack of bombs by ensuring you can always get rid of whatever overpowering creature is thrown out by your opponent. The greatest of bombs tend to be cards which are immune to removal, either non-creatures which thus naturally evade anti-creature removal spells, creatures which are somehow immune to removal due to protection, shroud, regeneration, or similar effects, or bombs which act as removal themselves.
*** On occasion, some uncommons can be bombs as well, the most common example being spells which deal X damage to target creature or player, making them both removal and potentially capable of finishing off an opponent in the late game out of nowhere; Fireball is perhaps the most infamous such example, due to its ability to split up its damage, allowing it to act as mass removal as well.
** A cause of Situational Advantage also frequently arises. As cards "rotate" (new ones are printed, older made illegal in most common formats) for a good portion of environments, there will arise one or two "tier 1" decks that prompt development of counter-decks aimed to specifically hurt those dominants. Said rogue decks are less powerful overall, so any (semicompetent) deck but the dominant actually has a good chance against it - but will likely fall to the tier 1. The resulting rock-paper-scissors deck choice process is known as metagaming.
** The luck-based balance gets a bit worse when one considers cards like Enlightened Tutor, which lets you reshuffle your deck, with the artifact or enchantment of your choice on top. When you consider that many of the big game breakers are artifacts or enchantments, and Enlightened Tutor costs one white mana and can be played just before you draw, yeah. Enlightened Tutor, by the way, is legal in Legacy.
** Early [=MtG=] was characterized by overestimating the power of creatures. Because, naturally, you had to kill people with creatures, it was assumed they would be the dominant force in the card game. Because of this, creatures were relatively overcosted, meaning that in the earliest "fair" tournaments (that is, cards printed with "organized card game" as opposed to "limited product experiment" in mind), "control" decks, which featured heavy counter-spells and removal, all of which cost much less mana than the creatures they destroyed, dominated the game.
* The ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' card game is also famous for the same reason as ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' at game balance. Many of the most powerful cards were not only GameBreaker cards, they were considered "rare", with some others being “Secret rares” that would never ever be encountered by the average player. Now here's what creates the fake balance… after awhile, you could buy tins with most of those secret rare cards in there.
** Even later still, many of those cards will probably be found as Commons in preconstructed decks or compilation sets, thus devaluing the originals by several degrees. ''Anime/YuGiOh'' is not kind to the secondary market...
** Some of the original cards have been banned from tournaments such as Monster Reborn (which alternates being banned with Call of the Haunted for some bizarre reason), Witch of the Black Forest, Pot of Greed and Change of Heart because they lack a 'cost' for using them and can potentially help you get powerful monsters early on, making it seem like they are just creating a balance. However, most of the new powerful monsters have effects that either: prevent destruction; allow them to be brought back; or simply prevent them being targeted by spells, traps or effects while also having 2000 or higher ATTACK, making most stronger than the original strong monsters. Plus they are also easy to summon usually and very few of these monsters have damaging effects for the owner of the card. Also, if you do not have the specific type of deck with just the right countermeasures against the one you are facing, then you can be screwed from the very beginning of the duel.
** This trope might be one of the reasons why Apoqliphort Towers were banned. On paper, it's a card that requires three tributes and Qli monsters at that. Unfortunately, the Qli monsters prided themselves on swarming to get out the towers; and then when it came out, it was immune to everything and couldn't be destroyed by ANYTHING without a LEVEL OR RANK lower than it's level. The towers are level 10. There are hardly any level 10 or rank 10 monsters in the meta as is. There are hardly any level 10 boss monsters or rank 10 monsters that exist out of a deck specifically made to get them out. Basically, whenever this card came out; many decks were stuck in a deadlock and there was no answer made against it without a deck made to specifically counter it; so it was banned.
* In the ''StarWarsCustomizableCardGame'', (almost) all cards have a "Destiny" value in the top right corner. During just about any type of confrontation (aiming a weapon, resolving a battle, holding a lightsaber duel, attacking the Death Star's exhaust port), one or both players were allowed to draw the top card of their deck and add its Destiny value to whatever total they had previously. The rationale was to allow TheForce (read: luck) to affect the outcome, and since the Force is always with the underdog, common / weak cards always came with high Destiny values. Unfortunately, the strong cards were often ''so'' powerful that they were essentially immune to the effects ''of'' Destiny, so, in the end, it didn't work.
* ''VideoGame/{{Hearthstone}}'' isn't generally considered a "serious competitive" CCG, with the massive number of [[RandomNumberGod RNG]]-based effects making it clearly more of a "for fun" game, so people are generally more easy-going on its balance deficiencies. However, the developers have repeatedly shown that they have absolutely NO idea how to properly evaluate power when designing new cards. Probably the most infamous example came in the Grand Tournament expansion which featured two class 6-drop minions- the Paladin epic Mysterious Challenger and the Shaman legendary The Mistcaller. The former was something they thought might be kind of interesting (a 6/6 minion which, when played, searches your deck for a copy of every Secret in it and puts it into play automatically), while they assumed the latter (a 4/4 which, when played, gives a permanent +1/+1 bonus to ''every minion still in your hand and deck'') would be an extremely powerful and desirable card. Shortly after the expansion launched, the playerbase rapidly deduced that Mysterious Challenger was ''nauseatingly broken beyond measure'' (since in a Paladin deck using every Secret available to them -which are individually weak but, pivotally, ''extremely powerful when used in combination-'' it effectively let you draw up to five cards and play them all for ''free,'' giving it an effective value of nearly ''twenty mana'' when you added its 6/6 body) and it became the centerpiece of the most powerful deck in the game, while The Mistcaller was immediately derided as utterly worthless, so bad that merely playing it would effectively ''lose you the game immediately'' (since ''Hearthstone'' is incredibly tempo-based and playing a pathetic 4/4 which has NO immediate impact on the board on your 6th turn would put you so far behind that you were basically kneecapping yourself). The basic issue is that the developer seem incapable of grasping that THE most important aspects of a useful card are [[GiantMook cost-effectiveness]] and [[ZergRush tempo]]; ''everything'' else (especially the mythical "fun factor") is a secondary concern at ''best.'' Don't even ''ask'' about [[GameBreaker Dr. Boom]] aka. [[FanNickname "Dr. Balanced", "Dr. Broken", "Dr. 7-drop" etc etc]]...

to:

[[folder:Card !!Video-Game Examples:
[[folder:[=4X=]
Games]]
* An example In ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion 2'', every spaceship had a finite amount of a failed attempt room for weapons and other systems, and every race was limited to -10 "picks" in negative attributes and 20 "picks" worth of positive attributes. Naturally, nothing whatsoever cost anywhere near what it should, so everyone played with Unification/Tolerant/Repulsive races and crammed as many Plasma Cannons onto their ships as possible.
* A fan wrote [[http://apricotmappingservice.com/unbalanced.html an entire essay/rant on this trope]] in regards to ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X3: Reunion]]''. In theory the ships in the game have two axes
of balance by rarity can be found in ''MagicTheGathering''. When (FactionCalculus and ship classes) and are pretty well designed. In practice, ArtificialStupidity, the game was first released, it was known that cards such as Black Lotus, Ancestral Recall, Timetwister SchizophrenicDifficulty of in-sector versus out-of-sector combat, and the Moxes were game-breakingly powerful if present in sufficient quantities. However, they believed that since most players would only buy a starter deck and a couple lack of boosters, their power would never become an issue. This is especially evident when you look at a good fleet command interface put the initial deck construction rules: 40-card minimum for decks, and no maximum for any individual cards. The deck of nothing but Black Lotus/Channel/Fireball was 100% legal, and that's not even the most powerful deck you could build. Constructed tournament later evolved to have a 60 card minimum limit and a maximum of 4 individual non-land cards, thus effectively removing the fake balance.
** Modern ''Magic The Gathering'' still has
balance by rarity as into a rarity level blender.
** In the sequel, ''Terran Conflict'', in addition to the
above rare, called mythic rare, was added in the Shards of Alara expansion. It should be noted that rarity balance exists in limited formats, such as booster draft Terran, ATF, and sealed deck, where certain powerful cards could easily help the player to win but they may well not get one of these cards, let alone multiple copies, but does not exist in constructed play where people will [[SeriousBusiness spend whatever it takes to win]].
*** In ''Magic'' limited formats, there is the ''BREAD'' principle, which describe what card to draft - Bombs, Removal, Evasion, Advantage and Dregs. While Removal, Evasion, Advantage and Dregs cards
OTAS ships are available in every rarity, Bombs are usually in the rare slot. A deck with a good amount of bomb and removal cards usually has a considerable upper hand. Whether a player obtained those cards balanced by luck or by skills is something that is often discussed in [=MTG=] boards. Large amounts of removal can make up for a lack of bombs by ensuring you can always get rid of whatever overpowering creature is thrown out by your opponent. The greatest of bombs tend to be cards which are immune to removal, either non-creatures which thus naturally evade anti-creature removal spells, creatures which are somehow immune to removal due to protection, shroud, regeneration, or similar effects, or bombs which act as removal themselves.
*** On occasion, some uncommons can be bombs as well, the most common example
being spells which deal X damage to target creature or player, making them both removal and potentially capable of finishing off an opponent in more expensive than other ships. By the late game out of nowhere; Fireball is perhaps the most infamous such example, due to its ability to split up its damage, allowing it to act as mass removal as well.
** A cause of Situational Advantage also frequently arises. As cards "rotate" (new ones are printed, older made illegal
time you're buying ships in most common formats) for a good portion of environments, there will arise one or two "tier 1" decks that prompt development of counter-decks aimed to specifically hurt those dominants. Said rogue decks are less powerful overall, so any (semicompetent) deck but the dominant actually has a good chance against it - but will large quantities you'll likely fall to the tier 1. The resulting rock-paper-scissors deck choice process is known as metagaming.
** The luck-based balance gets a bit worse when one considers cards like Enlightened Tutor, which lets you reshuffle
have [[MoneyForNothing more money coming in from your deck, with the artifact or enchantment of your choice on top. When you consider that many of the big game breakers are artifacts or enchantments, and Enlightened Tutor costs one white mana and can be played just before you draw, yeah. Enlightened Tutor, by the way, is legal in Legacy.
** Early [=MtG=] was characterized by overestimating the power of creatures. Because, naturally, you had to kill people with creatures, it was assumed they would be the dominant force in the card game. Because of this, creatures were relatively overcosted, meaning that in the earliest "fair" tournaments (that is, cards printed with "organized card game" as opposed to "limited product experiment" in mind), "control" decks, which featured heavy counter-spells and removal, all of which cost much less mana
investments than the creatures they destroyed, dominated the game.
* The ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' card game is also famous for the same reason as ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' at game balance. Many of the most powerful cards were not only GameBreaker cards, they were considered "rare", with some others being “Secret rares” that would never ever be encountered by the average player. Now here's
you know what creates the fake balance… after awhile, you could buy tins with most of those secret rare cards in there.
** Even later still, many of those cards will probably be found as Commons in preconstructed decks or compilation sets, thus devaluing the originals by several degrees. ''Anime/YuGiOh'' is not kind
to the secondary market...
** Some of the original cards have been banned from tournaments such as Monster Reborn (which alternates being banned with Call of the Haunted for some bizarre reason), Witch of the Black Forest, Pot of Greed and Change of Heart because they lack a 'cost' for using them and can potentially help you get powerful monsters early on, making it seem like they are just creating a balance. However, most of the new powerful monsters have effects that either: prevent destruction; allow them to be brought back; or simply prevent them being targeted by spells, traps or effects while also having 2000 or higher ATTACK, making most stronger than the original strong monsters. Plus they are also easy to summon usually and very few of these monsters have damaging effects for the owner of the card. Also, if you
do not have the specific type of deck with just the right countermeasures against the one you are facing, then you can be screwed from the very beginning of the duel.
** This trope might be one of the reasons why Apoqliphort Towers were banned. On paper, it's a card that requires three tributes and Qli monsters at that. Unfortunately, the Qli monsters prided themselves on swarming to get out the towers; and then when it came out, it was immune to everything and couldn't be destroyed by ANYTHING without a LEVEL OR RANK lower than it's level. The towers are level 10. There are hardly any level 10 or rank 10 monsters in the meta as is. There are hardly any level 10 boss monsters or rank 10 monsters that exist out of a deck specifically made to get them out. Basically, whenever this card came out; many decks were stuck in a deadlock and there was no answer made against it without a deck made to specifically counter it; so it was banned.
* In the ''StarWarsCustomizableCardGame'', (almost) all cards have a "Destiny" value in the top right corner. During just about any type of confrontation (aiming a weapon, resolving a battle, holding a lightsaber duel, attacking the Death Star's exhaust port), one or both players were allowed to draw the top card of their deck and add its Destiny value to whatever total they had previously. The rationale was to allow TheForce (read: luck) to affect the outcome, and since the Force is always with the underdog, common / weak cards always came with high Destiny values. Unfortunately, the strong cards were often ''so'' powerful that they were essentially immune to the effects ''of'' Destiny, so, in the end, it didn't work.
* ''VideoGame/{{Hearthstone}}'' isn't generally considered a "serious competitive" CCG, with the massive number of [[RandomNumberGod RNG]]-based effects making it clearly more of a "for fun" game, so people are generally more easy-going on its balance deficiencies. However, the developers have repeatedly shown that they have absolutely NO idea how to properly evaluate power when designing new cards. Probably the most infamous example came in the Grand Tournament expansion which featured two class 6-drop minions- the Paladin epic Mysterious Challenger and the Shaman legendary The Mistcaller. The former was something they thought might be kind of interesting (a 6/6 minion which, when played, searches your deck for a copy of every Secret in it and puts it into play automatically), while they assumed the latter (a 4/4 which, when played, gives a permanent +1/+1 bonus to ''every minion still in your hand and deck'') would be an extremely powerful and desirable card. Shortly after the expansion launched, the playerbase rapidly deduced that Mysterious Challenger was ''nauseatingly broken beyond measure'' (since in a Paladin deck using every Secret available to them -which are individually weak but, pivotally, ''extremely powerful when used in combination-'' it effectively let you draw up to five cards and play them all for ''free,'' giving it an effective value of nearly ''twenty mana'' when you added its 6/6 body) and it became the centerpiece of the most powerful deck in the game, while The Mistcaller was immediately derided as utterly worthless, so bad that merely playing it would effectively ''lose you the game immediately'' (since ''Hearthstone'' is incredibly tempo-based and playing a pathetic 4/4 which has NO immediate impact on the board on your 6th turn would put you so far behind that you were basically kneecapping yourself). The basic issue is that the developer seem incapable of grasping that THE most important aspects of a useful card are [[GiantMook cost-effectiveness]] and [[ZergRush tempo]]; ''everything'' else (especially the mythical "fun factor") is a secondary concern at ''best.'' Don't even ''ask'' about [[GameBreaker Dr. Boom]] aka. [[FanNickname "Dr. Balanced", "Dr. Broken", "Dr. 7-drop" etc etc]]...
with]].



[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' had LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards from the get go, resulting in exactly what would be expected - wizards being really tough to get up to a decent level, but if they survived (and in a party, they would survive, especially in later iterations like 3rd edition) they were just broken. This was not specific to wizards; all full casters tended to be because they had abilities which simply didn't care about how many hit points enemies had, and which enemies had no defenses against - indeed, some even worked against enemies immune to magic because they did not directly affect them, and such difficulties could often be circumvented anyway by simply focusing on buffing yourself to godlike capabilities. This was fixed in 4th edition by greatly restricting what magic users were capable of as well as expanding what other characters could do, resulting in complaints by players who completely missed the point - that if a character can do everything there's no need for an adventuring party, or other classes.
** 3.5 had this problem when they introduced a MagicKnight class, the Hexblade, and overestimated the usefulness of being able to cast spells in armor (there were already low-level spells which acted as superior substitutes to armor). As a result, the hexblade couldn't cast ''or'' fight [[MasterOfNone very well]]. The designers basically admitted that they'd messed up, and their next attempt at the archetype (the duskblade) was much more balanced ([[CharacterTiers A low tier 3]] with tier 1 and 2 belonging to classes considered to have GameBreaker stats). The opposite problem was the full caster classes, all of which completely shattered the game - most could turn themselves into better melee combatants than the actual melee combatant classes, and even worse, oftentimes that was pointless anyway because they could do even STRONGER things. High level full casters make the game utterly unplayable because they simply cannot be threatened effectively by anything which does not use similar tactics. This criticism of the game was termed as [[RocketTagGameplay "rocket tag", as in, whoever hit with their rocket first won]].
** D&D is absolutely FULL of these. Physical defense, Base Attack Bonus, Hit Point damage from any source being aimed at an enemy, feats, mundane skills and many others were also grossly overvalued by the developers, leading to the characters that rely on these things being [[LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards unable to contribute.]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=285984 One essay]] satirized the concept, postulating that, since classes with great but irrelevant chassis and lots of useless class features were generally pathetic, the [[JokeCharacter Commoner]], which has the worst chassis imaginable and no class features whatsoever, was the most powerful class in the game.
** This is not helped by D&D's spell list being filled with options that an experienced player will have notice work well, as opposed to things which sound awesome but really aren't that great in practice. At level 1, there's things like Color Spray and Entangle, spells which will remove groups of enemies from being able to contribute unless the enemy can succeed a difficult (for the level they're at) die roll. At level 5, you get such staples as Fireball and Lightning bolt. The problem is, Fireball is a much more effective spell than Lightning Bolt, because Fireball affects a 40-foot sphere and Lightning Bolt happens to go on a four-hundred foot straight line--cool, but enemies are more likely to take some sort of spread formation than single-file themselves. And this is just at the low levels. At high levels, you have Polar Ray (You get Fireball at level 5, it does damage to multiple targets. You get Polar Ray at level 15, it does ''slightly more'' damage to one target in less range and you have to hit the enemy to succeed) vs stuff like Plane Shift (normally used to move the party to one plane or another, including the various afterlives. A sub-use is to send an enemy to a plane of your choice. So you can literally ''send someone to Hell'' to remove them from combat). Ironically, the game works ''better' using the stronger effects, because monsters/other encounters tend to have them and if you tone down the casting classes, you'd better remember to tone down all many hundred of pages of monsters, too.
*** It's 3.0 trend to simplify everything, even when this is missing the point. To go with the same example, AD&D2 has Lightning Bolt slightly shaped and ''ricocheting'' from the walls while chipping them -- more useful than a Fireball unless in the open field, but tricky. In simplifying it to a straight line, it loses most of its utility, and is no longer as useful as Fireball.
*** Fake Balance exists in many cases because game designers could not predict the reliance on HouseRules, since so few people play D&D strictly by the rules-as-written. Things that are balanced for level 1-5 characters using the elite array of stats suddenly stop being balanced when you jump right to level 10 with much higher stats. Player characters are much more powerful when they can spend vast starting wealth on any magic item in the books than if they have to get by with whatever random junk they find.
** Wu Jens basically get free metamagic feats if their narrator plays them a certain way. (eg, unable to touch a dead body, cannot cut hair, cannot bathe...) However, some players often pick the taboos and set them to stuff the player or Wu Jen wouldn't even do in the ''first'' place!
*** This is basically a role-playing problem. The GM should step in and make it so that their taboos are more than free metamagic feats.
*** It also wasn't always understood that no, roleplaying constraints ''aren't'' automatically a good balancing factor for mechanical benefits. One example was AD&D 2nd Edition's Swashbuckler kit -- in order to compensate for some bonuses when fighting in light armor and extra access to nonweapon proficiencies, the DM was basically told to simply throw ''more trouble'' than their usual share the swashbuckler's way. So, not only would the character receive the kit benefits, they'd also get more time in the ''spotlight'' to help "balance" that...and chances were excellent that any "extra" trouble the swashbuckler ended up in would affect the rest of the party as well soon enough anyway.
** One of the early flubs was rarity based balance as a counter to the LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards phenomenon. Certainly a high level wizard is much more powerful than a similarly-leveled fighter, but wizards are easily killed at low levels. Consequently, many more fighters survive to reach high levels than wizards. This makes a certain amount of sense in terms of ''world'' balance, but for an adventuring party likely to contain ''one'' wizard and ''one'' fighter, it doesn't help very much.
*** Another, related, form of Fake Balance was race based class level limits. Only humans could advance any class to any level; all demihuman races were not only limited in what classes they could choose, but every class had a level cap. In many cases, a very low one, lower than level 10. In theory, this was meant to balance the racial abilities of the demihumans, who received extra powers like nightvision and bonuses to saving throws; in turn, humans received unlimited growth potential. The problem was that level caps are only a limit if anybody reaches the cap. If the campaign [[AbsurdlyHighLevelCap never gets high enough level for caps to matter]], then the caps don't balance anything. If a campaign does get that high of level, however, [[AbsurdlyLowLevelCap then the cap is crippling]]. Either way, nothing is balanced. And many [=DMs=] houseruled out level caps anyway, rendering the point moot.
*** And even within that, the designers vastly overvalued demihuman special abilities. Are they useful? Yes, every now and then, though in many cases (Detect Sloping Passages?) the DM has to deliberately construct the campaign to make them so. Are they worth being unable to advance past 9th level in a campaign that ''is'' going to reach that cap? Uh, NO!
** Another odd form of overestimating the skill of players is overestimating the skills of the GM. A good GM will vary his combat encounters enough that some "gamebreaking" builds will realize they're really just suffering CripplingOverspecialization and haven't been forced outside of the player's comfort zone. He'll also test the player characters out of combat, forcing them to rely on skills and knowledge. Varying encounters greatly is one of the best ways to fight spammed attacks and minmaxed builds by exploiting their lack of versatility. As long as the GameMaster is not a KillerGameMaster who makes their players suffer, it's a good cure for ComplacentGamingSyndrome. However, some [=GMs=] just aren't that good at it, resulting in greatly unbalanced games because the players have no incentive to find new tricks and just reuse the same builds and powers.
*** The other problem lies in the fact that someone who is cripplingly overspecialized may be completely worthless outside of said specialization, meaning that the player gets bored as they are unable to contribute when the one thing they can do stupidly well becomes useless. Indeed, monsters like this are a great example of fake balance, with the idea that making some characters useless periodically somehow makes things balanced being an obviously flawed one.
** There are many creatures which are designed to mess up non-casters, and there are some creatures (such as golems) which are designed to mess up casters. Unfortunately, casters are inherently better than non-casters, and flying creatures (which are quite common, and most casters can make themselves fly anyway) are very powerful against anyone without ranged attacks, which includes most non-casters (bows don't cut it, generally, unless you are a specialized bow user - in which case you have the weakness of "flying creatures can bypass my comrades and sit on top of me, rendering my bow useless"). The idea of many creatures with high spell resistance or outright immunity is to force casters to rely on their non-spell using compatriots. In reality, there are dozens of spells which allow them to bypass their foe's spell resistance and high saving throws entirely, such as spells that create barriers around them without actually affecting them directly (wall of stone gets bonus points for creating a permanent, nonmagical wall of stone, but wall of force and forcecage can create similar effects), a caster can polymorph themselves into some sort of dangerous monster to go eat their face or buff themselves to fight better than a fighter (and many such effects work better or exclusively on the caster themselves), they can collapse the ceiling or knock the floor out from under them, or fly into the air and shoot them from long range or simply bypass them entirely (many golems lack ranged attacks, can't fly, and have slow movement speeds), and do similar things. This is ignoring the fact that most of them take feats to better bypass spell resistance and to make it harder to save against their spells.
** EmptyLevels are a problem in basically every edition (except 4th, which gives everyone the same advancement for everything). LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards was in effect even in 1st Edition, where Fighters gained nothing from leveling besides incremental bonuses. One very common reaction to this in the 3.5 era was to give the character utility class features whenever it seemed like they wouldn't get anything from their core abilities. In theory, this meant that the character would always have something to look forward to. In practice, this left some classes laden with disparate and near-useless class features that were so minor and situational that they frequently forgot them. The Monk was the worst offender by far; sure, you get something every level, but when that something is a once-per-day fourth-level spell or a once-per-''week'' OneHitKill attack that [[UselessUsefulSpell usually misses,]] why bother? (Exemplified by one {{Narm}}-tastic [[http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/cwc/20061013a article]] on the Wizards of the Coast website, which claimed that "[[BlatantLies players always have something to look forward to with the Monk]]." On the other end of the power scale, the Sorcerer and Cleric get nothing for leveling up but advancement of their spells and familiar (for Sorcerer) and domains and TurnUndead (for Cleric). Since TurnUndead was [[GuideDangIt needlessly complex]], familiars were liabilities, and many domains didn't advance by levels, players would simply jump into a PrestigeClass that advanced casting and lose basically jack in the process. Some even used alternate class features that swapped out their familiar or Turn Undead, giving them literally no reason to ''not'' take a PrestigeClass. ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' did its level best to rectify this by nerfing spellcasting some, cutting down on full-casting prestige classes, buffing many formerly-useless abilities, and redesigning many classes so their abilities ''always'' advanced by level. Sadly, as the problem is built into the game, it didn't work, though it did boost the power of the weaker classes... though they were still useless compared to casters.
** Some {{Prestige Class}}es were PurposelyOverpowered, to accommodate for extremely difficult requirements. The intent would be to make these classes DifficultButAwesome, or limit them to NPC use. For the former, if your player has [[MagikarpPower jumped through all the hoops]] to qualify for Fochlucan Lyrist, they need the absurdly good bonuses just to catch up to everyone else; for the latter, it's not like any player would ''want'' to use a pus-spewing disease-ridden degenerate, right? Of course, a wily player could easily end up qualifying for these classes by simply thinking outside the box. For instance, the Hulking Hurler may be reserved for Large-sized characters, and Large races are typically too strong for players to use (the example build is a Stone Giant), but Half-Ogres are Large and have a Level Adjustment equal to Drow. By a similar token, the [[FlatEarthAtheist Ur-Priest]] requires an [[BadPowersBadPeople Evil]] [[CharacterAlignment alignment]], but there's nothing stopping players from simply being a TokenEvilTeammate, a NobleDemon, the caster of an all-Evil adventuring party, or even, arguably, taking just a few levels, going through CharacterDevelopment and [[HeelFaceTurn changing alignment]], and advancing their Ur-Priest casting through another class. Consequently, both the Hulking Hurler and the Ur-Priest are considered to be among the game's biggest {{Game Breaker}}s.
* Despite being designed with an eye for better balance, 4th Edition D&D hasn't entirely avoided this. Initially, many players did not understand how to play controller characters properly, and there were a large number of what amounted to fake choices in the original power set for the wizard, the first controller class. Controllers do exactly that, control the battlefield and debuff enemies, but many players picked area damage spells instead, which were terrible because the Wizard is not a damage-dealing class (and never really was, though many players played them as such - and the fact that they seemed powerful even then says something about how useful the casters truly were). [[strike:Bad]] Players used to the previous editions, where wizards were often played as ''damage-dealers'' rather than controllers, constantly [[strike:whined]] complained about wizards [[strike:being underpowered]] not being able to do what they ''used'' to be able to do in previous editions, while, ironically, they were actually one of the strongest classes, and acquired some game breaking abilities at higher levels which required errata. They later released the Sorcerer, who was a more conventional blaster-wizard designed to deal damage similar to the "throwing fireballs and lightning bolts" evoker that many players played previously.
** And that is why you should not play a wizard as a Nuker, but as a [[AnAdventurerIsYou Debuffer or Mezzer]]. Even from the first book, the wizard has huge area effects that cause a group of enemies to lose half their actions, or fling them halfway across the battlefield. In the hands of a beginner, the wizard is a sub-par damage dealer. In the [[DifficultButAwesome hands of a skilled player]], it will give your DM nightmares. Unfortunately, this is bad design; later controllers ditched most of the bad damage dealing spells to simply make sure you cannot accidentally make a useless character, instead replacing them with more control options.
** Other balance items that look good on paper but really don't work: Weapons with a higher accuracy are much, much better than weapons that lose accuracy for special properties, due to the way the game math works at higher levels. Because most powers only have an effect if they connect, hitting is much more important than some incidental rider ability on the strike, and yet weapons got balanced between those that had extra accuracy and those that didn't but had other effects. This is less of an issue for fighters, who have powers which make some of the less accurate weapons much stronger (hammers are amongst the best fighter weapons, despite their slightly lower accuracy, for this very reason), but for every other class...
** On the DM's side come Solo monsters. Solo Monsters are supposed to represent the same challenge to a group of adventurers that 5 normal monsters do, usually by having higher defenses and four times the normal monster hit points. This didn't work. Solo monsters were derided as boring grindfests. The problems boiled down to the fact that Solo monsters had too many hit points and too few actions - a solo monster could easily be locked down by status effects and didn't have the number of actions a full crew of monsters did, but they were too tough to be taken down in a reasonable amount of time. New versions of solo monsters have more actions (up to and including extra whole turns), more resistances to status effects, slower defenses and hit points (still high, but lower than before) and more "state-changing" abilities. Still, the best use of a "[[ArtifactTitle Solo]]" monster is [[FlunkyBoss paired with a few other normal monsters]].
** For those non-players: Orbizards (or Orb Wizards) are Wizards that get a special ability as long as they wield an orb as an implement - as opposed to those who wield a staff, a wand and so on. These also get special abilities, but they weren't nearly as powerful. Orbizards could once per encounter debuff a monster's saving throw against an effect the wizard cast. To succeed on a saving throw, you have to get a 10 or higher on a d20 roll. Solo monsters get a +5 to saving throws, which means they can succeed on a 5 or higher. But the orbizard could - if he took the right items, skills and feats - debuff a monster's save by -17! So you cast "Sleep" or any spell that makes the monster unconscious and needs a save to be ended onto the enemy, couple that with your -17 to saves, and even the highest level monster in the game would need to roll a 22 to succeed. [[ImpossibleTask On a d20.]] This could trivialize entire encounters, and was too powerful. They errataed it out, along with most other saving throw penalties which lasted longer than a round.
* TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} and TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} both suffer from this disease due to all of the reasons above, but also because some codices or army books aren't updated in years. In theory, powerful units are balanced by costing more points than weaker CannonFodder, but due to a gradual PowerCreepPowerSeep, armies that don't have recent updates tend to find themselves simply out-classed by competitors which have new rules written. It can be downright maddening, such as when an army finds itself losing a special advantage because it is incompatible with the current rules. Armies also have had "legacy" rules which interact with the game's current rules to create an {{Unwinnable}} situation. The solution seems to be to give everyone occasional moments in the sun. It just may take twelve to thirteen years for some armies.
** Sometimes provoked intentionally in order to boost the sales of a flagging army. "HA! Imperial Guardsmen have flashbulb guns and die when breathed on!". Cue new codex. "Guardsmen are cheaper, can shoot rapidfire in ranks if they're under half range and don't move and they have better AP? Which way to the Cadia box?"
** This is the current problem with the Daemonhunters, specifically the Grey Knights. Even the book itself acknowledges that the Knights are not meant to be used as a stand-alone army, however with the GW policy of "no allies" (reversed as of 2012), that was the only way to field the Knights. In addition, since the change in rules of how to play Daemons (they no longer suffered instability, reversed as of 2013) the Grey Knights are effectively paying extra points for abilities that can never be used (to balance out this advantage in previous editions, Daemons gain Sustained Attack, meaning that any destroyed daemons automatically return back onto the table free of charge. However that rule ''is'' still in use).
*** Then the Grey Knights got a new Codex, and became an army of MarySue {{Game Breaker}}s. Cue BrokenBase.
* In addition to the above, ''[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Warhammer 40k]]'' has done pretty much every example on this list.
** Skill Underestimated: 5th edition Outflanking. Essentially, this allows you to deploy a unit by walking on from a board edge, usually allowing a brutal assault onto anything near that edge. Since you have a 2/3 shot of deploying along the side you want (1/3 of getting the flank you want, 1/3 of getting the flank you don't want, 1/3 of being able to choose which flank you want to deploy on), it's not exactly unreliable. What's more: any unit with the incredibly-common Scouts or Infiltrate special rules can use Outflank deployment. Cue the demise of any army with a CripplingOverspecialization in shooting. (So long as said army doesn't deploy vehicles en masse, which are far less vulnerable to close combat so long as they move at least 6" every turn.) Lash of Submission also deserves honorable mention, as [[WordOfGod Games Workshop themselves]] reportedly remarked how they didn't think anybody would use it in great ways when they wrote and tested it.
** Skill Overestimated: Tyranid Pyrovores. Aside from their [[CanonDefilement perversion of the Tyranid fluff]] [[note]]Tyranids, being Extreme Omnivores, literally strip entire worlds of their biomatter. It's why they are a threat. The problem is they can't eat something that gets incinerated. So, of course, Pyrovores have flamethrowers, something that suggests poor evolution, but also a design that could not be called "intelligent" by any means, either[[/note]], the Pyrovore has so many caveats on its not-that-good ability that the unit itself becomes veritably worthless. Essentially, a Pyrovore must suffer [[OneHitKill Instant Death]], roll a 4+ on a six-sided die, and then it will radiate a Strength 3 hit to all models, friend or foe, within about 2.5".
** Unbalanced Army List: Though they possess a number of average units (Havocs, Raptors, Chaos Lords), nothing compels a Chaos Space Marines player to use these mediocre units any more than absolutely necessary, instead of just taking the best stuff possible (Berserkers, Plague Marines, Daemon Princes). The Warp Talons and Mutilators are incredibly inefficient at what they're designed for (units can't assault after Deep Striking), while Heldrakes are the Flying Chaos Turkeys of Flaming Death (until the Seventh Edition FAQ changed its weapon from a turret to a fixed firing arc).
** Luck-Based Balance: Chaos Daemons, whose [[PlanetOfHats racial hat]] is ConfusionFu. Every model has a fairly bad invulnerable save that is generally inferior to most other armor types, but they tend to not have many good saves at all. Roll well and you will shrug off tons of firepower. Roll poorly (and more often than not, you ''will'' roll poorly), and you'll take a ton of casualties every time an enemy unit shoots at one of yours, and you have next to no shooting of your own, meaning you're pretty much helpless in the shooting phase. And believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg. You literally cannot guarantee that any particular unit will start the game on the table, assuming nobody dies in a Deep Strike mishap. Chaos Daemons were designed to be super-powerful yet balanced by their ability to fail at unpredictable intervals. In practice, they're basically a catastrophic failure waiting to happen.
*** Luck-Based Balance used to be the shtick of the Orcs in earlier editions, where many of their most powerful weapons had random range, strength, or effect radius.
*** Sixth Edition removed some randomness for Daemons (they no longer deploy randomly and have ways to increase their saves if you study the book properly) and threw more randomness into the mix for ''everyone'': warlord traits, psychic powers, and mysterious terrain effects are rolled from tables.
** Rarity based balance: More representative as a price-based balance. If you can't afford Forge World's "An'ggrath the Unbound," you're not going to field one, simple as that. Also represented by 0-1 units (now called Unique Units), which can only be used a maximum of once, no matter the size of your force. These limits are usually relegated to special characters, who have various abilities that occasionally [[GameBreaker toe the lines of game balance]].
** Unfair / Situational Advantage: Jaws of the World Wolf is possibly the most UselessUsefulSpell in the game. It requires purchasing a very expensive yet easily-killable model. It can't target vehicles. It can be blocked or made more difficult to cast. It's incredibly unlikely to kill any individual model. A clever opponent can minimize its effect by spacing out. And it can ''instantly kill any model that fails an Initiative test''. It also lets you effectively pick which model(s) you want to target, something usually not permitted barring exceptionally rare special abilities. And to make it worse, no saving throws are allowed to any model that is consumed, trumping armor saves, invulnerable saves, cover saves, and even special rules that prevent the model from being instantly killed, which makes Jaws (potentially) into 40k's InfinityPlusOneSword. Because Jaws is less useful against higher-initiative models, there's almost a sense in which every unit in the game is judged by whether or not it can easily be killed by Jaws. Woe betide any unit / army if it's a MightyGlacier with no anti-psyker support (like Ork HQ units).
*** Grey Knights are a hard counter to Chaos Daemons. If you play Daemons and your opponent shows up with Grey Knights, concede right away.
** Relies on Stalemating / Winning: It is incredibly easy to play for a draw. One of the most blatant offenders is the [[FunWithAcronyms DAVU]] setup for the Eldar. DAVU essentially takes the least expensive Troops unit purchasable (5 '''D'''ire '''A'''vengers) and puts them inside a fast transport vehicle (like a '''V'''ehicle '''U'''pgrade) to allow the vehicle to capture objectives quickly at the end of the game. The way to beat that is to basically outclass these expensive and not terribly numerous vehicles.

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[[folder:Tabletop [[folder:Fighting Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' had LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards ''VideoGame/BlazBlueCalamityTrigger'' suffers slightly from the get go, resulting in exactly what would be expected - wizards being really tough to get up to a decent level, but if they survived (and in a party, they would survive, especially in later iterations like 3rd edition) they were just broken. This was not specific to wizards; all full casters tended this. [[GlassCannon Nu-13 is meant to be because they had abilities which simply didn't care about how many hit points enemies had, and which enemies had no defenses against - indeed, some even worked against enemies immune to magic because they did not directly affect them, and such difficulties could often be circumvented anyway by simply focusing on buffing yourself to godlike capabilities. This was fixed in 4th edition by greatly restricting what magic users were capable of as well as expanding what other characters could do, resulting in complaints by players who completely missed the point - that if a character can do everything there's no need for an adventuring party, or other classes.
** 3.5 had this problem when they introduced a MagicKnight class, the Hexblade, and overestimated the usefulness of being able to cast spells in armor (there were already low-level spells which acted as superior substitutes to armor). As a result, the hexblade couldn't cast ''or'' fight [[MasterOfNone very well]]. The designers basically admitted that they'd messed up, and their next attempt at the archetype (the duskblade) was much more
balanced ([[CharacterTiers A by low tier 3]] with tier 1 health.]] But her projectile combos and 2 belonging to classes considered to have GameBreaker stats). The opposite problem was the full caster classes, all of which completely shattered the game - most could turn themselves into better melee combatants than the actual melee combatant classes, and even worse, oftentimes that was pointless anyway because they could do even STRONGER things. High level full casters make the game utterly unplayable because they simply cannot be threatened effectively by anything which does not use similar tactics. This criticism of the game was termed as [[RocketTagGameplay "rocket tag", as in, whoever hit with their rocket first won]].
** D&D is absolutely FULL of these. Physical defense, Base Attack Bonus, Hit Point damage from any source being aimed at an enemy, feats, mundane skills and many others were also grossly overvalued by the developers, leading to the characters that rely on these things being [[LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards unable to contribute.]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=285984 One essay]] satirized the concept, postulating that, since classes with great but irrelevant chassis and lots of useless class features were generally pathetic, the [[JokeCharacter Commoner]], which has the worst chassis imaginable and no class features whatsoever, was the most powerful class in the game.
** This is not helped by D&D's spell list being filled with options that an experienced player will have notice work well, as opposed to things which sound awesome but really aren't that great in practice. At level 1, there's things like Color Spray and Entangle, spells which will remove groups of enemies from being able to contribute unless the enemy can succeed a difficult (for the level they're at) die roll. At level 5, you get such staples as Fireball and Lightning bolt. The problem is, Fireball is a much more effective spell than Lightning Bolt, because Fireball affects a 40-foot sphere and Lightning Bolt happens to go on a four-hundred foot straight line--cool, but enemies are more likely to take some sort of spread formation than single-file themselves. And this is just at the low levels. At high levels, you have Polar Ray (You get Fireball at level 5,
teleport moves made it does damage to multiple targets. You get Polar Ray at level 15, it does ''slightly more'' damage to one target in less range and you have to hit the enemy to succeed) vs stuff like Plane Shift (normally used to move the party to one plane or another, including the various afterlives. A sub-use is to send an enemy to a plane of your choice. So you can literally ''send someone to Hell'' to remove them from combat). Ironically, the game works ''better' using the stronger effects, because monsters/other encounters tend to have them and if you tone down the casting classes, you'd better remember to tone down all many hundred of pages of monsters, too.
*** It's 3.0 trend to simplify everything, even when this is missing the point. To go with the same example, AD&D2 has Lightning Bolt slightly shaped and ''ricocheting'' from the walls while chipping them -- more useful than a Fireball unless in the open field, but tricky. In simplifying it to a straight line, it loses most of its utility, and is no longer as useful as Fireball.
*** Fake Balance exists in many cases because game designers could not predict the reliance on HouseRules, since so few people play D&D strictly by the rules-as-written. Things that are balanced
nigh-impossible for level 1-5 characters using the elite array of stats suddenly stop being balanced when you jump right to level 10 with much higher stats. Player characters are much more powerful when they can spend vast starting wealth on any magic item in the books than if they have to get by with whatever random junk they find.
** Wu Jens basically get free metamagic feats if their narrator plays them a certain way. (eg, unable to touch a dead body, cannot cut hair, cannot bathe...) However, some players often pick the taboos and set them to stuff the player or Wu Jen wouldn't even do in the ''first'' place!
*** This is basically a role-playing problem. The GM should step in and make it so that their taboos are more than free metamagic feats.
*** It also wasn't always understood that no, roleplaying constraints ''aren't'' automatically a good balancing factor for mechanical benefits. One example was AD&D 2nd Edition's Swashbuckler kit -- in order to compensate for some bonuses when fighting in light armor and extra access to nonweapon proficiencies, the DM was basically told to simply throw ''more trouble'' than their usual share the swashbuckler's way. So, not only would the character receive the kit benefits, they'd also get more time in the ''spotlight'' to help "balance" that...and chances were excellent that any "extra" trouble the swashbuckler ended up in would affect the rest of the party as well soon enough anyway.
** One of the early flubs was rarity based balance as a counter to the LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards phenomenon. Certainly a high level wizard is much more powerful than a similarly-leveled fighter, but wizards are easily killed at low levels. Consequently, many more fighters survive to reach high levels than wizards. This makes a certain amount of sense in terms of ''world'' balance, but for an adventuring party likely to contain ''one'' wizard and ''one'' fighter, it doesn't help very much.
*** Another, related, form of Fake Balance was race based class level limits. Only humans could advance any class to any level; all demihuman races were not only limited in what classes they could choose, but every class had a level cap. In many cases, a very low one, lower than level 10. In theory, this was meant to balance the racial abilities of the demihumans, who received extra powers like nightvision and bonuses to saving throws; in turn, humans received unlimited growth potential. The problem was that level caps are only a limit if anybody reaches the cap. If the campaign [[AbsurdlyHighLevelCap never gets high enough level for caps to matter]], then the caps don't balance anything. If a campaign does get that high of level, however, [[AbsurdlyLowLevelCap then the cap is crippling]]. Either way, nothing is balanced. And many [=DMs=] houseruled out level caps anyway, rendering the point moot.
*** And even within that, the designers vastly overvalued demihuman special abilities. Are they useful? Yes, every now and then, though in many cases (Detect Sloping Passages?) the DM has to deliberately construct the campaign to make them so. Are they worth being unable to advance past 9th level in a campaign that ''is'' going to reach that cap? Uh, NO!
** Another odd form of overestimating the skill of players is overestimating the skills of the GM. A good GM will vary his combat encounters enough that some "gamebreaking" builds will realize they're really just suffering CripplingOverspecialization and haven't been forced outside of the player's comfort zone. He'll also test the player characters out of combat, forcing them to rely on skills and knowledge. Varying encounters greatly is one of the best ways to fight spammed attacks and minmaxed builds by exploiting their lack of versatility. As long as the GameMaster is not a KillerGameMaster who makes their players suffer, it's a good cure for ComplacentGamingSyndrome. However, some [=GMs=] just aren't that good at it, resulting in greatly unbalanced games because the players have no incentive to find new tricks and just reuse the same builds and powers.
*** The other problem lies in the fact that someone who is cripplingly overspecialized may be completely worthless outside of said specialization, meaning that the player gets bored as they are unable to contribute when the one thing they can do stupidly well becomes useless. Indeed, monsters like this are a great example of fake balance, with the idea that making
some characters useless periodically somehow makes things balanced being an obviously flawed one.
** There are many creatures which are designed
to mess up non-casters, and there are some creatures (such as golems) which are designed to mess up casters. Unfortunately, casters are inherently better than non-casters, and flying creatures (which are quite common, and most casters can make themselves fly anyway) are very powerful against anyone without ranged attacks, which includes most non-casters (bows don't cut it, generally, unless you are land even a specialized bow user - in which case you have single hit, making her health irrelevant. Come the weakness of "flying creatures can bypass my comrades and sit on top of me, rendering my bow useless"). The idea of many creatures with high spell resistance or outright immunity is to force casters to rely on their non-spell using compatriots. In reality, there are dozens of spells which allow them to bypass their foe's spell resistance and high saving throws entirely, such as spells that create barriers around them without actually affecting them directly (wall of stone gets bonus points for creating a permanent, nonmagical wall of stone, but wall of force and forcecage can create similar effects), a caster can polymorph themselves into some sort of dangerous monster to go eat their face or buff themselves to fight better than a fighter (and many such effects work better or exclusively on the caster themselves), they can collapse the ceiling or knock the floor out from under them, or fly into the air and shoot them from long range or simply bypass them entirely (many golems lack ranged attacks, sequel, her projectiles can't fly, combo, and her teleport is gone.
* Many ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' games
have slow movement speeds), and do similar things. This is ignoring the fact that most of them take feats to better bypass spell resistance and to make it harder to save against their spells.
** EmptyLevels are a problem in basically every edition (except 4th, which gives everyone the same advancement for everything). LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards was in effect even in 1st Edition,
balance issues where Fighters gained nothing from leveling besides incremental bonuses. One very common reaction to this in certain matchups are unfairly difficult. In the 3.5 era was to give the character utility class features whenever it seemed like they wouldn't get anything from their core abilities. In theory, this meant that the character would always have something to look forward to. In practice, this left some classes laden with disparate and near-useless class features that were so minor and situational that they frequently forgot them. The Monk was the worst offender by far; sure, you get something every level, but when that something is a once-per-day fourth-level spell or a once-per-''week'' OneHitKill attack that [[UselessUsefulSpell usually misses,]] why bother? (Exemplified by one {{Narm}}-tastic [[http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/cwc/20061013a article]] on the Wizards of the Coast website, which claimed that "[[BlatantLies players always have something to look forward to with the Monk]]." On the other end of the power scale, the Sorcerer and Cleric get nothing for leveling up but advancement of their spells and familiar (for Sorcerer) and domains and TurnUndead (for Cleric). Since TurnUndead was [[GuideDangIt needlessly complex]], familiars were liabilities, and many domains didn't advance by levels, players would simply jump into a PrestigeClass that advanced casting and lose basically jack in the process. Some even used alternate class features that swapped out their familiar or Turn Undead, giving them literally no reason to ''not'' take a PrestigeClass. ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' did its level best to rectify this by nerfing spellcasting some, cutting down on full-casting prestige classes, buffing many formerly-useless abilities, and redesigning many classes so their abilities ''always'' advanced by level. Sadly, as the problem is built into the game, it didn't work, though it did boost the power of the weaker classes... though they were still useless compared to casters.
** Some {{Prestige Class}}es were PurposelyOverpowered, to accommodate for extremely difficult requirements. The intent would be to make these classes DifficultButAwesome, or limit them to NPC use. For the former, if your player has [[MagikarpPower jumped through all the hoops]] to qualify for Fochlucan Lyrist, they need the absurdly good bonuses just to catch up to everyone else; for the latter, it's not like any player would ''want'' to use a pus-spewing disease-ridden degenerate, right? Of course, a wily player could easily end up qualifying for these classes by simply thinking outside the box. For instance, the Hulking Hurler may be reserved for Large-sized characters, and Large races are typically too strong for players to use (the example build is a Stone Giant), but Half-Ogres are Large and have a Level Adjustment equal to Drow. By a similar token, the [[FlatEarthAtheist Ur-Priest]] requires an [[BadPowersBadPeople Evil]] [[CharacterAlignment alignment]], but there's nothing stopping players from simply being a TokenEvilTeammate, a NobleDemon, the caster of an all-Evil adventuring party, or even, arguably, taking just a few levels, going through CharacterDevelopment and [[HeelFaceTurn changing alignment]], and advancing their Ur-Priest casting through another class. Consequently, both the Hulking Hurler and the Ur-Priest are considered to be among the game's biggest {{Game Breaker}}s.
* Despite being designed with an eye for better balance, 4th Edition D&D hasn't entirely avoided this. Initially, many players did not understand how to play controller
earliest games certain characters properly, and there were a large number of what amounted to fake choices in the original power set lacked an effective method for the wizard, the first controller class. Controllers do exactly that, control the battlefield and debuff enemies, but many players picked area damage spells instead, which were terrible because the Wizard is not a damage-dealing class (and never really was, though many players played them as such - and the fact that they seemed powerful even then says something about how useful the casters truly were). [[strike:Bad]] Players used to the previous editions, where wizards were often played as ''damage-dealers'' rather than controllers, constantly [[strike:whined]] complained about wizards [[strike:being underpowered]] not being able to do what they ''used'' to be able to do in previous editions, while, ironically, they were actually one of the strongest classes, and acquired some game breaking abilities at higher levels which required errata. They later released the Sorcerer, who was a more conventional blaster-wizard designed to deal damage similar to the "throwing fireballs and lightning bolts" evoker that many players played previously.
** And that is why you should not play a wizard as a Nuker, but as a [[AnAdventurerIsYou Debuffer or Mezzer]]. Even from the first book, the wizard has huge area effects that cause a group of enemies to lose half their actions, or fling them halfway across the battlefield. In the hands of a beginner, the wizard is a sub-par damage dealer. In the [[DifficultButAwesome hands of a skilled player]], it will give your DM nightmares. Unfortunately, this is bad design; later controllers ditched most of the bad damage
dealing spells to simply make sure you cannot accidentally make a useless character, instead replacing them with more control options.
** Other balance items that look good on paper but really don't work: Weapons with a higher accuracy are much, much better than weapons that lose accuracy for special properties, due to the way the game math works at higher levels. Because most powers only have an effect if they connect, hitting is much more important than some incidental rider ability on the strike, and yet weapons got balanced between those that
projectiles, so they'd end up pinned down by fireball traps. Combo-oriented games like ''VideoGame/XMenVsStreetFighter'' or ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' had extra accuracy and those that didn't but had other effects. This is less of an issue for fighters, who have powers which make some of the less accurate weapons much stronger (hammers are amongst the best fighter weapons, despite their slightly lower accuracy, for this very reason), but infinite combos for every other class...
** On the DM's side come Solo monsters. Solo Monsters
character.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' took a fairly simple approach to balance. In general, most characters can fit into one of three groups: [[FragileSpeedster Fast, but light]] and weak; [[MightyGlacier strong and heavy, but slow]]; and [[JackOfAllStats "balanced" characters who
are supposed to represent the same challenge to a group of adventurers that 5 normal monsters do, usually by having higher defenses and four times the normal monster hit points. somewhere in between]]. This didn't work. Solo monsters were derided as boring grindfests. The problems boiled down to the fact that Solo monsters had too many hit points and too few actions - a solo monster could easily be locked down by status effects and didn't have the number of actions a full crew of monsters did, but they were too tough to be taken down sounds good in a reasonable amount of time. New versions of solo monsters have more actions (up to and including extra whole turns), more resistances to status effects, theory - slower defenses and hit points (still high, but lower than before) and more "state-changing" abilities. Still, the best use of a "[[ArtifactTitle Solo]]" monster is [[FlunkyBoss paired with a few other normal monsters]].
** For those non-players: Orbizards (or Orb Wizards) are Wizards that get a special ability as long as they wield an orb as an implement - as opposed to those who wield a staff, a wand and so on. These also get special abilities, but they weren't nearly as powerful. Orbizards could once per encounter debuff a monster's saving throw against an effect the wizard cast. To succeed on a saving throw, you have to get a 10 or higher on a d20 roll. Solo monsters get a +5 to saving throws, which means they can succeed on a 5 or higher. But the orbizard could - if he took the right items, skills and feats - debuff a monster's save by -17! So you cast "Sleep" or any spell that makes the monster unconscious and needs a save to be ended onto the enemy, couple that with your -17 to saves, and even the highest level monster in the game would need to roll a 22 to succeed. [[ImpossibleTask On a d20.]] This could trivialize entire encounters, and was too powerful. They errataed it out, along with most other saving throw penalties which lasted longer than a round.
* TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} and TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} both suffer from this disease due to all of the reasons above, but also because some codices or army books aren't updated in years. In theory, powerful units are balanced by costing more points than weaker CannonFodder, but due to a gradual PowerCreepPowerSeep, armies that
characters don't have recent updates tend to find hit as much to KO you, and are more resistant to being KO'd themselves simply out-classed by competitors which - the problem is that fast characters generally have new rules written. It can be downright maddening, such as when an army finds itself losing a special advantage because it is incompatible with much higher combo ability, allowing them to easily turn one weak hit into several, ultimately dealing more damage than the current rules. Armies also have had "legacy" rules which interact with the game's current rules to create an {{Unwinnable}} situation. The solution seems to be to give everyone occasional moments in the sun. It just may take twelve to thirteen years for some armies.
** Sometimes provoked intentionally in order to boost the sales of a flagging army. "HA! Imperial Guardsmen have flashbulb guns and die when breathed on!". Cue new codex. "Guardsmen
few, powerful hits that heavyweights dish out. Additionally, heavyweights themselves are cheaper, can shoot rapidfire extremely susceptible to combos, as their weight works against them by keeping them in ranks if they're under half range and don't move of their attacker, and they are usually large in stature as well, making them that much easier to hit. The heavyweights have better AP? Which way to the Cadia box?"
** This is the current problem with the Daemonhunters, specifically the Grey Knights. Even the book itself acknowledges that the Knights are not meant to be used as a stand-alone army, however with the GW policy of "no allies" (reversed as of 2012), that was the only way to field the Knights. In addition, since the change in rules of how to play Daemons (they no longer suffered instability, reversed as of 2013) the Grey Knights are effectively paying extra points for abilities
effective {{Herd Hitting Attack}}s that can never be used (to balance out unleashed while other players are distracted with each other, but this advantage is no help in previous editions, Daemons gain Sustained Attack, meaning that any destroyed daemons automatically return back onto the table free of charge. However that rule ''is'' still in use).
*** Then the Grey Knights got a new Codex, and became an army of MarySue {{Game Breaker}}s. Cue BrokenBase.
* In addition to the above, ''[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Warhammer 40k]]'' has done pretty much every example on this list.
** Skill Underestimated: 5th edition Outflanking. Essentially, this allows you to deploy a unit by walking on from a board edge, usually allowing a brutal assault onto anything near that edge. Since you have a 2/3 shot of deploying along the side you want (1/3 of getting the flank you want, 1/3 of getting the flank you don't want, 1/3 of being able to choose which flank you want to deploy on), it's not exactly unreliable. What's more: any unit with the incredibly-common Scouts or Infiltrate special rules can use Outflank deployment. Cue the demise of any army with a CripplingOverspecialization in shooting. (So long as said army doesn't deploy vehicles en masse,
1v1 matches, which are far less vulnerable the standard for competitive play. This has ultimately led to close combat so long as they move at least 6" every turn.) Lash of Submission also deserves honorable mention, as [[WordOfGod Games Workshop themselves]] reportedly remarked how they didn't think anybody would use it in great ways when they wrote complex CharacterTiers appearing (despite [[MemeticMutation claims that "tires don exits"]]) and tested it.
** Skill Overestimated: Tyranid Pyrovores. Aside from their [[CanonDefilement perversion of
the Tyranid fluff]] [[note]]Tyranids, MetaGame being Extreme Omnivores, literally strip entire worlds stormed by fast characters like Fox and Falco, though with a few exceptions such as Jigglypuff and Peach.
** In the fourth game, [[VideoGame/PunchOut Little Mac]] seems to fall under "unbalanced skillset". Mac is a brutal LightningBruiser on the ground, with several
of their biomatter. It's why they are a threat. his attacks making him ImmuneToFlinching and he even has an instant-KO attack. To balance this, he's absolutley abysmal in the air. The problem is they can't eat something air game isn't all that gets incinerated. So, of course, Pyrovores have flamethrowers, something that suggests poor evolution, but also a design that could not be called "intelligent" by any means, either[[/note]], the Pyrovore has so many caveats on its not-that-good ability that the unit itself becomes veritably worthless. Essentially, a Pyrovore must suffer [[OneHitKill Instant Death]], roll a 4+ on a six-sided die, and then it will radiate a Strength 3 hit to all models, friend or foe, within about 2.5".
** Unbalanced Army List: Though they possess a number of average units (Havocs, Raptors, Chaos Lords), nothing compels a Chaos Space Marines player to use these mediocre units any more than absolutely necessary, instead of just taking the best stuff possible (Berserkers, Plague Marines, Daemon Princes). The Warp Talons and Mutilators are incredibly inefficient at what they're designed for (units can't assault after Deep Striking), while Heldrakes are the Flying Chaos Turkeys of Flaming Death (until the Seventh Edition FAQ changed its weapon from a turret to a fixed firing arc).
** Luck-Based Balance: Chaos Daemons, whose [[PlanetOfHats racial hat]] is ConfusionFu. Every model has a fairly bad invulnerable save that is generally inferior to most other armor types, but they tend to not have many good saves at all. Roll well and you will shrug off tons of firepower. Roll poorly (and more often than not, you ''will'' roll poorly), and you'll take a ton of casualties every time an enemy unit shoots at one of yours, and you have next to no shooting of your own, meaning you're pretty much helpless in the shooting phase. And believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg. You literally cannot guarantee that any particular unit will start the game
relevant on the table, assuming nobody dies in a Deep Strike mishap. Chaos Daemons were designed to be super-powerful yet balanced by their ability to fail at unpredictable intervals. In practice, they're basically a catastrophic failure waiting to happen.
*** Luck-Based Balance used to be the shtick
Final Destination forms of the Orcs in earlier editions, where many of their most powerful weapons had random range, strength, or effect radius.
*** Sixth Edition removed some randomness for Daemons (they no longer deploy randomly
stages, and have ways to increase their saves if you study the book properly) and threw more randomness into the mix for ''everyone'': warlord traits, psychic powers, and mysterious terrain effects are rolled from tables.
** Rarity based balance: More representative as
a price-based balance. If you can't afford Forge World's "An'ggrath the Unbound," you're not going to field one, simple as that. Also represented by 0-1 units (now called Unique Units), which can only be used a maximum of once, no matter the size of your force. These limits are usually relegated to special characters, who have various abilities that occasionally [[GameBreaker toe the lines of game balance]].
** Unfair / Situational Advantage: Jaws of the World Wolf is possibly the most UselessUsefulSpell in the game. It requires purchasing a very expensive yet easily-killable model. It can't target vehicles. It can be blocked or made more difficult to cast. It's incredibly unlikely to kill any individual model. A clever opponent can minimize its effect by spacing out. And it can ''instantly kill any model that fails an Initiative test''. It also lets you effectively pick which model(s) you want to target, something usually not permitted barring exceptionally rare special abilities. And to make it worse, no saving throws are allowed to any model that is consumed, trumping armor saves, invulnerable saves, cover saves, and even special rules that prevent the model from being instantly killed, which makes Jaws (potentially) into 40k's InfinityPlusOneSword. Because Jaws is less useful against higher-initiative models, there's almost a sense in which every unit in the game is judged by whether or not it can easily be killed by Jaws. Woe betide any unit / army if it's a MightyGlacier with no anti-psyker support (like Ork HQ units).
*** Grey Knights are a hard counter to Chaos Daemons. If you play Daemons and your opponent shows up with Grey Knights, concede right away.
** Relies on Stalemating / Winning: It is incredibly easy to play for a draw. One of the most blatant offenders
single long platform is the [[FunWithAcronyms DAVU]] perfect setup for his ground game, resulting in him being by far the Eldar. DAVU essentially takes most used character in For Glory mode online.
*** And then when
the least expensive Troops unit purchasable (5 '''D'''ire '''A'''vengers) meta developed and puts them inside a fast transport vehicle (like a '''V'''ehicle '''U'''pgrade) to allow the vehicle air game became much more important, followed by players realizing how awful Mac's recovery was, he immediately became somewhat of a joke character, as players in FG would regularly just throw him off and use a single follow-up attack to capture objectives quickly at the end take his first stock. Similarly, picking Little Mac in any sort of the game. The way to beat 4 stock competitive setting results in a quick loss amidst a stream of tears. Especially now that [[VideoGame/StreetFighter Ryu]] is to basically outclass these expensive and not terribly numerous vehicles.out, who is widely considered 'better Mac with air game'.



[[folder:First Person Shooter]]

to:

[[folder:First Person Shooter]][[folder:First-Person Shooters]]



* As far as most of the classic ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' modding community is concerned, "spawn a million more Revenants" is the answer to all problems, from populating the map to setting up an ambush when the player grabs an important item. This basically turns any given mod into ''Mercenaries 2'' as above, with explosives constantly flying at you from all directions.



[[folder:Role Playing Game]]

to:

[[folder:Role Playing [[folder:MOBA]]
* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' is often credited as the game that codified perfect imbalance, with every patch slightly favoring one particular type of champion over others through base statistic manipulation and updated ability kits every now and then.
** There are [[AnAdventurerIsYou tank, assassin and fighter]] type junglers. Halfway through Season 3, tanks were the only viable choice because gold income for junglers is so low that expensive offensive builds cannot get off the ground against skilled opponents. Season 4, however, saw a surge in assassin-type junglers due to increases on the gold income the player can get from the jungle. Also, junglers with very long ranged dashes, jumps or speed boosts are always better than other junglers because they can sail past wards and jump the laners before they have time to react, enabling them to score kills even against hard turtling opponents.
** The jungler role entered a state of almost complete flux after season 4 finished. Pre-season 5 rolled in with a complete update of the Summoner's Rift, including, of course, the jungle monsters. The update initially introduced two little crabs that are rather hard to kill but deal no damage and give line of sight of the river when you kill them. The Dragon, instead of just giving its killer a big gold bonus, now gave a permanent, team-wide buff depending on how much Dragon kills your team had, peaking at a massive temporary buff after killing the Dragon five times. Baron Nashor was likewise reworked to grant a team buff that grants a shorter recall and causes any minions near a buffed champion to gain a lot of health, toughness and damage. Season 6 then introduced a Rift Herald that is basically a mini-Baron Nashor that grants a similar bonus to the individual champions who killed it. Then the Smite summoner spell was split into three (initially ''five'', but two were axed): the base spell that just hurts CPU-controlled units, the now defunct White Smite for plundering the enemy jungle, Red and Blue Smite for hurting and slowing enemy champions, the now defunct Purple Smite for extra fast jungle clearing, plus a jungler item introduced on season 6 that doesn't change your Smite but gives you instead refillable sight wards. And every time you Smite a jungle monster, you gain a special buff depending on the one you smote, such as being able to see enemy wards if you smite the Razorbeak. The result was a ''much'' greater protagonism for the jungler, who could now be as decisive as the mid-laner or the ADC on early and mid-game regarding the team's entire performance. Season 5 started out with fighter-tanky junglers back in vogue thanks to a jungler item enchantment that grants 25% extra health instead of just a fixed number, then moved on to mage junglers gaining an upper hand with an enchantment that granted a lot of ability power.
** The bottom lane meta. Certain carries have an escape ability and/or utility, others are all about damage. These two types have never been balanced. During the early sustain meta, it didn't matter because no one died in bottom lane anyway. As sustain and poke supports were gradually nerfed into oblivion and new junglers and supports with powerful gap closers and lockdown abilities were released, escape abilities became mandatory for survival, resulting in the "holy trinity" of Corki-Graves-Ezreal plus Tristana being the only viable carries at the end of Season 2. The ongoing kill potential creep eventually overwhelmed most escape abilities except Ezreal's [[GameBreaker instant blink]], making safety largely irrelevant and again favouring carries with raw damage over everything else.
** Early Season 3 mid lane. Physical assassins (Talon/Kha'Zix) were a direct counter to the typical mid lane mages, rendering pretty much the entire selection of mid lane mages irrelevant. Before that, there was a time during Season 2 when mid lane was essentially Talon countering Morgana and Morgana/Kassadin countering everyone else.
** Top lane is currently Jayce/Elise/Kennen/Teemo using their range advantage to obliterate the entire huge pool of top lane fighters. While fighters have many advantages (tons of damage, free stats, an actual ultimate unlike two of the above, cheap builds) and are in fact designed to be statistically better than anything else on the field, their range disadvantage is virtually impossible to make up for unless the opponent is unskilled.
** Pre-season 6 started out with a Graves rework that turned him into the shortest-ranged, most damaging marksman of the entire roster, along with extra mechanics on four widely-used bot lane marksmen champions: Corki, Caitlyn and Miss Fortune. Then season 6 kicked off with a new champion: Jhin, who converts critical damage and attack speed into pure basic attack damage and is therefore capable of ending up with ''over 1000 attack damage'', plus a Graves-like passive that gives you ''one free critical hit every 4 shots regardless of item build''. And as if the bottom lane wasn't already powerful enough, on top of all that Shen also got a rework that made him one of the best bot lane support champions of the entire game.
** Counterplay-based balance also plays a huge role in LOL's metagame. AD assassins, for example, are capable of delivering enough damage to single-handedly slaughter the entire enemy team and many people think they're broken beyond redemption. To counterplay an AD assassin, you just need to stun them and leave their paper-thin defenses at the mercy of your team. To counterplay a stun, you just need a Quicksilver Sash. To counterplay a QSS, on ranked games you have your team pick a champion that has knock-up stun (Cho'gath, Blitzcrank, Janna) if you see the enemy using an AD assassin, or you bait the enemy assassin into using it before initiating the fight. To counterplay QSS baiting, you use the Dispel summoner spell or you tell your support to purchase a Mikael's Crucible that can erase hard CC on friendly champions. Going through another counterplay route, there is also the fact that AD assassins often need ridiculously large amounts of gold to reach their full potential, so bullying them as hard as possible should result in them staying weak and frail for the entire duration of the game.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Platformers]]
* Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog
** Multiplayer in Sonic has always been rather tricky when it comes to balance issues, but by far the worst example of this is [[LethalJokeCharacter Amy Rose]] in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 Battle''. Amy's balancing in that game was that [[WeakButSkilled her raw athletic abilities were weaker than the others, but she was able to obtain and cast power-ups with every ten rings instead of twenty.]] While this is good on paper, the object placement in stages were based around racers using twenty rings. What this meant was that if Amy was able to launch even one attack, [[GameBreaker then she'll probably be able to stunlock her opponent into oblivion]] by being able to spam [[HeartBeatDown Storming Heart]] and [[InterfaceScrew Amy Flash]] at an alarming rate while removing her weak speed by spamming [[NitroBoost Speed Up.]] This is especially bad because Amy Flash, rather than being a TimeStandsStill power like Chaos Control and Time Stop, instead locks the player out of their controls, usually resulting in the poor victim being sent hurtling into a pit or being picked off by a robot, [[CycleOfHurting sent back to the previous checkpoint to wait out the rest of the the Amy Flash, all the while being repeatedly killed by Storming Hearts and getting trapped by another Amy Flash before they can even take another step if they're unlucky.]] The only racer with any kind of defense against this is Metal Sonic with his special attack deflecting Black Shield, but even that is rendered moot because he can't maintain a Black Shield while Amy Flash is in effect. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and to top it all off]] all of this is accompanied by [[MostAnnoyingSound her endlessly shouting "Yeah!" in her overly-perky voice.]]
** The mobile game ''Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom'' has fake balance between the characters whose specials involve collecting rings. Sonic's power is to magnetize rings towards him when boost is activated, which may pick up around ten to twenty rings you wouldn't normally reach. Amy's power is to get five rings for every obstacle she smashes when boost is activated, which will conservatively earn twice as much even if you miss some obstacles, and she can be unlocked very early. Moreover, Sonic's power can be completely negated if you happen to run into a Magnet power-up, which does the same thing, while there is no equivalent power-up to Amy's power.
* In ''VideoGame/ToejamAndEarl'', [=ToeJam=] is slightly faster, and Earl has slightly more HP. Earl's extra hit points aren't worth much (especially after gaining a few ranks), when [=ToeJam=] can avoid being hit entirely much easier. Later stages only exacerbate the difference. Certain enemies are faster than Earl, meaning if he's caught in an open area, he's pretty much guaranteed to lose a life, while [=ToeJam=] could escape with only a few hits.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Racing]]
* ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal'' games, ''2'' in particular, messed up ''hard''. Some vehicles/characters were slow, tough and had powerful short ranged special weapons and did a lot of ramming damage, usually enough to instantly kill an opponent with a melee combo. Others were weak, fast and usually long ranged. The obvious problem was that the faster vehicles could simply keep running away and either do hit and run attacks or use their long distance weapons while the slower ones were unable to catch up. The worst example was Spectre, the second fastest vehicle in the game with a special that ''goes through walls''.
** ''VideoGame/{{Vigilante 8}}'' and its sequel averted this issue for the most part by introducing weapons with mapwide range and giving the heavy vehicles ''long'' ranged special weapons instead of short ranged ones, thereby ensuring that if the weak fast vehicle keeps running away endlessly he'll lose due to [[CherryTapping attrition damage]]. Also, one of the [[LimitBreak secondary fire modes]] of said mapwide weapon disables the target, giving even the slowest vehicle a chance to close the gap. The exceptions are the [[JokeCharacter bus]] and the sequel's garbage truck, both with short ranged weapons and agonisingly slow, both completely useless.
* Early ''VideoGame/WipeOut'' games had ships that excelled in either handling, acceleration, shield or top speed. But air brakes made it so you wouldn't lose speed if you took corners properly, making acceleration moot, and also making handling irrelevant provided you're good enough to not crash (which was harder in a ship with low handling, but [[DifficultButAwesome hard didn't mean slow]]). And if you didn't crash, shield was also unimportant. As a result, the best ship in the game was invariably the fastest ship regardless of its other stats, to the point where a ship with 10% extra speed and zero in all other stats was the best ship. This was averted in later titles where you do slow down while cornering and the enemies [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy sometimes actually hit you]] with their weapons.
* ''VideoGame/MarioKart Wii'' had a pretty bad balancing issue between karts and bikes. In theory, karts had more powerful mini-turbos than bikes, but bikes could pop a wheelie for a speed boost in exchange for worse steering and slowing down to a crawl should they bump into anything while doing a wheelie, which would also come into play with the game's constant bombardment of items. However, players that used bikes quickly realized that they could use wheelies at any time and would do so at every chance they got, which gave them a huge advantage on tracks that had many straight roads. Because of this, karts simply could never keep up with a wheelie spamming biker and this boiled over quickly into online play and time trial records.
** Mario Kart has other examples of this too. For example, in Mario Kart Double Dash and Wii, the two types of karts (high acceleration/low speed and high speed/low acceleration) were meant to be roughly balanced, the former could recover from item hits and quickly reach top speed, but couldn't keep up with the latter if it was in front. Unfortunately, high acceleration was also tied into mini turbo stats, so people found they could mini turbo/drift non stop ('snaking'/PRB) and in effect have a permanent Mushroom boost speed, making speed based karts entirely pointless.
** Then Mario Kart Wii added the aforementioned bikes and a standstill mini turbo technique, which made both karts and acceleration based bikes useless.
** And Mario Kart 7, due to having the power slide system from the last game plus no bikes has swung the balance back again, with items making acceleration based kart setups the only practical ones.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real-Time Strategy]]
* When ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'''s expansion was released the game creators specifically left out any programming to let it be multiplayer knowing full well that some of the units could be used in truly epic overpowering moves. At the top of the list was the Harbinger Gunship (pretty much a flying heavy tank with either a heavy gun or machine gun), the desolator (could kill anything on the ground) and the Giga Fortress, a floating island with 6 main weapons that could transform into a flying head with a ridiculously powerful WaveMotionGun.
** ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'' purposefully used something close to "Everything's Cheap". Like almost all ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' games, you still have to pump out tanks. But rather than making a bunch of rock-paper-scissors effects with units that can stop tanks, and other units which can stop the tank-stoppers but lose to tanks, they made many units which can be countered by almost anything at all, but if you use them quickly and effectively before they were countered, they could achieve a decisive result. Some games would work out with two equally powerful tank forces facing off while each player tried to be the first one to sneak a spy, hero, commando, etc, into the enemy base, secretly build up some airplanes or ships to attack his enemy's construction yard, etc.
*** Sandbagged Allied GI troops. They may be immobile, but they easily overcome this when they settle down near an enemy base, pulling out their [[GameBreaker absurdly powerful machine guns]], that can destroy tanks in good numbers. A bunch of them trained well can stop any enemy player's assault because once a unit is constructed, it is already destroyed. Gets even worse in the expansion pack where the new Guardian [=GIs=] might not be much for killing infantry but when deployed, there's simply no way to force them out of their holes because while the massive firepower of massed [=GIs=] could be offset by suicide-rushing tanks at them in order to crush the immobile soldiers, deployed Guardian [=GIs=] are ''uncrushable and have anti-tank weapons''. Combining the two means certain death to the enemy.
** In the original ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'', while at first you get the impression that the sides are balanced but with different play styles, it's quickly apparent in multiplayer just how much more powerful the Soviets are. They have the best tanks, the best ''anti''-tanks, and the best artillery. The only truly effective units on the Allied sides are the cruiser (emblematic of one way to get this trope -- the game tries to balance out some of the Soviets' advantages with tanks by giving the Allies a better navy, the problem being that you can always find a use for tanks, while ships require a sufficiently large body of water to even be ''deployed'', let alone used as more than a floating, unrepairable base defence) and the mechanic.
* ''VideoGame/WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne'' has a unique case in reguards to its single-player only Naga race. Since the Naga are singleplayer only, its understandable that Blizzard would overlook balancing this race. The Naga aren't even close to having the same amount of gameplay units and structures as the main orc, human, undead and night elf factions, but once you get your chance to play as the Naga, the unbalance towards how much more powerful their units are in regards to the main races mentioned above becomes apparent. The most obvious unbalance is in reguards to the Naga's flying unit, the Couatl. They're about as powerful as the orc Wyverns without their poison spears, but the main difference is that building Wyverns take four food while the Couatls only need two (plus, they have the ability Abolish Magic). Couatl are forces to be reckoned with, but to give these beasts the same amount of food cost as normal footmen just wasn't good balancing. Massing an army of Couatl just spells game-over to the opponent. Thankfully, you only get a shot to build these things in one total mission of the ''Frozen Throne'' campaign and the enemy Naga opponents in the game barely ever send more than 4 to 6 of them at a time on Hard difficulty to truly see how unbalanced they are.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Role-Playing
Game]]



* A textbook example of fake balance was present in the old ''VideoGame/{{Asteroids}}''-like Mac game ''Asterax''. The player can choose one of three ships: [[JackOfAllStats the Manta]], which had mediocre everything; [[MightyGlacier the Crab]], which had good guns and shields but tiny engines; and [[FragileSpeedster the Mantis]], which had good engines but tiny guns and shields. The problem with this arrangement came in the form of the game's item shop selling guns, engines and shields, which meant that a Crab pilot could upgrade away their ship's sole deficiency with a single purchase, while Manta and Mantis pilots would need to buy two or three upgrades to reach the same level of effectiveness. Not to mention, as you might expect in an Asteroids game, "better" (i.e. faster) engines can make the game [[NonIndicativeDifficulty harder instead of easier]] anyway.
* The Thraddash in ''VideoGame/StarControlII''. This ship is designed to be a JokeCharacter: it has very few crew, and its weapon does a measly one damage. However, said weapon also has an unusually long range, and the ship is one of the fastest in the game when its afterburner is used. This allows a skilled Thraddash player to stay out of range from the other ship's guns while [[DeathOfAThousandCuts slowly wearing it down]]. Thraddash is the only ship which is routinely banned from competitive play, for this reason.
** The price the Androsynth is so much lower than the actual value of the ship that it's considered a must-have.
** As a side effect of the Androsynth being considered a must-have because of its price, the Orz, which is otherwise reasonably priced, is made far less effective; the Androsynth is the natural counter to the Orz, so you're pretty much guaranteed to only be able to use it effectively for one battle. This hurts especially hard because the Orz is a very powerful ship, and typically only cost-effective if it can win multiple battles.
** The Ur-Quan Dreadnought is supposed to be one of the most powerful ships in the game, equipped with a very powerful, rapid-fire fusion blaster and able to launch large waves of smaller fighters. Unfortunately, the fusion blaster travels slowly, making it difficult to aim at fast-moving targets, and the fighters, which cost a crew each to launch, are incredibly stupid and fragile. These factors added together make the Ur-Quan so ineffective compared to its great cost that it has been called the "Banana Boat" by some fans.
** The Spathi Eluder manages to achieve this in ''both directions''. Against the A.I., the Spathi is massively overpowering; the A.I. stupidly chases a fleeing player around, and the Spathi shoots homing missiles from behind, so many A.I. controlled ships can be easily decimated by the Spathi. Against humans who know better than to blindly chase around the other ship, however, the Spathi's rear-facing missile is pretty much useless because of its slow speed.



[[folder:Other]]
* Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog
** Multiplayer in Sonic has always been rather tricky when it comes to balance issues, but by far the worst example of this is [[LethalJokeCharacter Amy Rose]] in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 Battle''. Amy's balancing in that game was that [[WeakButSkilled her raw athletic abilities were weaker than the others, but she was able to obtain and cast power-ups with every ten rings instead of twenty.]] While this is good on paper, the object placement in stages were based around racers using twenty rings. What this meant was that if Amy was able to launch even one attack, [[GameBreaker then she'll probably be able to stunlock her opponent into oblivion]] by being able to spam [[HeartBeatDown Storming Heart]] and [[InterfaceScrew Amy Flash]] at an alarming rate while removing her weak speed by spamming [[NitroBoost Speed Up.]] This is especially bad because Amy Flash, rather than being a TimeStandsStill power like Chaos Control and Time Stop, instead locks the player out of their controls, usually resulting in the poor victim being sent hurtling into a pit or being picked off by a robot, [[CycleOfHurting sent back to the previous checkpoint to wait out the rest of the the Amy Flash, all the while being repeatedly killed by Storming Hearts and getting trapped by another Amy Flash before they can even take another step if they're unlucky.]] The only racer with any kind of defense against this is Metal Sonic with his special attack deflecting Black Shield, but even that is rendered moot because he can't maintain a Black Shield while Amy Flash is in effect. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and to top it all off]] all of this is accompanied by [[MostAnnoyingSound her endlessly shouting "Yeah!" in her overly-perky voice.]]
** The mobile game ''Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom'' has fake balance between the characters whose specials involve collecting rings. Sonic's power is to magnetize rings towards him when boost is activated, which may pick up around ten to twenty rings you wouldn't normally reach. Amy's power is to get five rings for every obstacle she smashes when boost is activated, which will conservatively earn twice as much even if you miss some obstacles, and she can be unlocked very early. Moreover, Sonic's power can be completely negated if you happen to run into a Magnet power-up, which does the same thing, while there is no equivalent power-up to Amy's power.
* In ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion 2'', every spaceship had a finite amount of room for weapons and other systems, and every race was limited to -10 "picks" in negative attributes and 20 "picks" worth of positive attributes. Naturally, nothing whatsoever cost anywhere near what it should, so everyone played with Unification/Tolerant/Repulsive races and crammed as many Plasma Cannons onto their ships as possible.
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlueCalamityTrigger'' suffers slightly from this. [[GlassCannon Nu-13 is meant to be balanced by low health.]] But her projectile combos and teleport moves made it nigh-impossible for some characters to land even a single hit, making her health irrelevant. Come the sequel, her projectiles can't combo, and her teleport is gone.
* Many ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' games have balance issues where certain matchups are unfairly difficult. In the earliest games certain characters lacked an effective method for dealing with projectiles, so they'd end up pinned down by fireball traps. Combo-oriented games like ''VideoGame/XMenVsStreetFighter'' or ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' had infinite combos for every character.
* In ''VideoGame/GuardiansOfMiddleEarth'', Agandaûr would fit the unbalanced skillset category. His ultimate ability is an enormous shockwave that can kill most enemy guardians in one hit in a game where most characters are meant to be able to throw all their skills at each other and still survive. This is supposed to be balanced by the fact that his other skills are weaker, his ultimate can be interrupted by crowd control effects, and Agandaûr has a poor health pool. However, if you can kill everyone near you extremely fast, it doesn't matter how poor your health is if everyone else is dead, and the fact that his other skills are weaker is offset by the fact that the shockwave has a cooldown of less than 30 seconds, making it regenerate faster than the respawn time.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Mercenaries}} 2'', you can regenerate health. The developers decided that to balance this out, '''everyone in the goddamn world gets a rocket launcher.''' Vehicles have tissue paper for armor, too, so it's not as if you'll find much sanctuary from all that rocket and tank fire. [[strike:Nine]] Ten times out of ten, when explosives are flying, they're flying at ''you.'' Not even freakin' Wolverine could survive this crap!
** This is a problem in ''VideoGame/RedFaction: Guerilla'' and ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'', too, but it's not as bad in the former and [[GodzillaThreshold makes sense]] in the later.
** ''Call of Duty'', again, has this problem as well. ''United Offensive'' decided to up the challenge present in the base game - by lessening how often dead enemies will drop medkits when you're injured and giving the Germans a new, incredibly powerful semi-auto rifle. Your only chance of survival is letting your AI teammates do all the fighting, because if you try to do anything, you will lose half your health in one shot and most likely will not be able to replenish a single bit of it afterwards. ''Call of Duty 2'' switched to RegeneratingHealth - and now you're forced to [[TooDumbToLive run right up towards enemy tanks and stand up in front of enemy machine-gunners]] (things real soldiers in real wars ''very quickly learn '''not''' to do'') every fifteen seconds to balance it out.
*** Regenerating health has caused a lot of this in modern games, where developers design the game around the idea that the player has effectively infinite health, without taking into account the fact that the player needs time where they're not getting injured for regeneration to kick in. ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany'' is another good example, since its draw is destructible cover, [[ThisIsGonnaSuck combined with the typical "give absolutely every enemy a rocket launcher" idea]] that modern shooters always do - if you're injured enough that you have to hide and heal in this game, you're basically already dead.
* A textbook example of fake balance was present in the old ''VideoGame/{{Asteroids}}''-like Mac game ''Asterax''. The player can choose one of three ships: [[JackOfAllStats the Manta]], which had mediocre everything; [[MightyGlacier the Crab]], which had good guns and shields but tiny engines; and [[FragileSpeedster the Mantis]], which had good engines but tiny guns and shields. The problem with this arrangement came in the form of the game's item shop selling guns, engines and shields, which meant that a Crab pilot could upgrade away their ship's sole deficiency with a single purchase, while Manta and Mantis pilots would need to buy two or three upgrades to reach the same level of effectiveness. Not to mention, as you might expect in an Asteroids game, "better" (i.e. faster) engines can make the game [[NonIndicativeDifficulty harder instead of easier]] anyway.
* When ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'''s expansion was released the game creators specifically left out any programming to let it be multiplayer knowing full well that some of the units could be used in truly epic overpowering moves. At the top of the list was the Harbinger Gunship (pretty much a flying heavy tank with either a heavy gun or machine gun), the desolator (could kill anything on the ground) and the Giga Fortress, a floating island with 6 main weapons that could transform into a flying head with a ridiculously powerful WaveMotionGun.
** ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'' purposefully used something close to "Everything's Cheap". Like almost all ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' games, you still have to pump out tanks. But rather than making a bunch of rock-paper-scissors effects with units that can stop tanks, and other units which can stop the tank-stoppers but lose to tanks, they made many units which can be countered by almost anything at all, but if you use them quickly and effectively before they were countered, they could achieve a decisive result. Some games would work out with two equally powerful tank forces facing off while each player tried to be the first one to sneak a spy, hero, commando, etc, into the enemy base, secretly build up some airplanes or ships to attack his enemy's construction yard, etc.
*** Sandbagged Allied GI troops. They may be immobile, but they easily overcome this when they settle down near an enemy base, pulling out their [[GameBreaker absurdly powerful machine guns]], that can destroy tanks in good numbers. A bunch of them trained well can stop any enemy player's assault because once a unit is constructed, it is already destroyed. Gets even worse in the expansion pack where the new Guardian [=GIs=] might not be much for killing infantry but when deployed, there's simply no way to force them out of their holes because while the massive firepower of massed [=GIs=] could be offset by suicide-rushing tanks at them in order to crush the immobile soldiers, deployed Guardian [=GIs=] are ''uncrushable and have anti-tank weapons''. Combining the two means certain death to the enemy.
** In the original ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'', while at first you get the impression that the sides are balanced but with different play styles, it's quickly apparent in multiplayer just how much more powerful the Soviets are. They have the best tanks, the best ''anti''-tanks, and the best artillery. The only truly effective units on the Allied sides are the cruiser (emblematic of one way to get this trope -- the game tries to balance out some of the Soviets' advantages with tanks by giving the Allies a better navy, the problem being that you can always find a use for tanks, while ships require a sufficiently large body of water to even be ''deployed'', let alone used as more than a floating, unrepairable base defence) and the mechanic.
* ''VideoGame/WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne'' has a unique case in reguards to its single-player only Naga race. Since the Naga are singleplayer only, its understandable that Blizzard would overlook balancing this race. The Naga aren't even close to having the same amount of gameplay units and structures as the main orc, human, undead and night elf factions, but once you get your chance to play as the Naga, the unbalance towards how much more powerful their units are in regards to the main races mentioned above becomes apparent. The most obvious unbalance is in reguards to the Naga's flying unit, the Couatl. They're about as powerful as the orc Wyverns without their poison spears, but the main difference is that building Wyverns take four food while the Couatls only need two (plus, they have the ability Abolish Magic). Couatl are forces to be reckoned with, but to give these beasts the same amount of food cost as normal footmen just wasn't good balancing. Massing an army of Couatl just spells game-over to the opponent. Thankfully, you only get a shot to build these things in one total mission of the ''Frozen Throne'' campaign and the enemy Naga opponents in the game barely ever send more than 4 to 6 of them at a time on Hard difficulty to truly see how unbalanced they are.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' took a fairly simple approach to balance. In general, most characters can fit into one of three groups: [[FragileSpeedster Fast, but light]] and weak; [[MightyGlacier strong and heavy, but slow]]; and [[JackOfAllStats "balanced" characters who are somewhere in between]]. This sounds good in theory - slower characters don't have to hit as much to KO you, and are more resistant to being KO'd themselves - the problem is that fast characters generally have a much higher combo ability, allowing them to easily turn one weak hit into several, ultimately dealing more damage than the few, powerful hits that heavyweights dish out. Additionally, heavyweights themselves are extremely susceptible to combos, as their weight works against them by keeping them in range of their attacker, and they are usually large in stature as well, making them that much easier to hit. The heavyweights have effective {{Herd Hitting Attack}}s that can be unleashed while other players are distracted with each other, but this is no help in 1v1 matches, which are the standard for competitive play. This has ultimately led to complex CharacterTiers appearing (despite [[MemeticMutation claims that "tires don exits"]]) and the MetaGame being stormed by fast characters like Fox and Falco, though with a few exceptions such as Jigglypuff and Peach.
** In the fourth game, [[VideoGame/PunchOut Little Mac]] seems to fall under "unbalanced skillset". Mac is a brutal LightningBruiser on the ground, with several of his attacks making him ImmuneToFlinching and he even has an instant-KO attack. To balance this, he's absolutley abysmal in the air. The problem is air game isn't all that relevant on the Final Destination forms of stages, and a single long platform is the perfect setup for his ground game, resulting in him being by far the most used character in For Glory mode online.
*** And then when the meta developed and the air game became much more important, followed by players realizing how awful Mac's recovery was, he immediately became somewhat of a joke character, as players in FG would regularly just throw him off and use a single follow-up attack to take his first stock. Similarly, picking Little Mac in any sort of 4 stock competitive setting results in a quick loss amidst a stream of tears. Especially now that [[VideoGame/StreetFighter Ryu]] is out, who is widely considered 'better Mac with air game'.

to:

[[folder:Other]]
* Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog
** Multiplayer in Sonic has always been rather tricky when it comes to balance issues, but by far the worst example of this is [[LethalJokeCharacter Amy Rose]] in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 Battle''. Amy's balancing in that game was that [[WeakButSkilled her raw athletic abilities were weaker than the others, but she was able to obtain and cast power-ups with every ten rings instead of twenty.]] While this is good on paper, the object placement in stages were based around racers using twenty rings. What this meant was that if Amy was able to launch even one attack, [[GameBreaker then she'll probably be able to stunlock her opponent into oblivion]] by being able to spam [[HeartBeatDown Storming Heart]] and [[InterfaceScrew Amy Flash]] at an alarming rate while removing her weak speed by spamming [[NitroBoost Speed Up.]] This is especially bad because Amy Flash, rather than being a TimeStandsStill power like Chaos Control and Time Stop, instead locks the player out of their controls, usually resulting in the poor victim being sent hurtling into a pit or being picked off by a robot, [[CycleOfHurting sent back to the previous checkpoint to wait out the rest of the the Amy Flash, all the while being repeatedly killed by Storming Hearts and getting trapped by another Amy Flash before they can even take another step if they're unlucky.]] The only racer with any kind of defense against this is Metal Sonic with his special attack deflecting Black Shield, but even that is rendered moot because he can't maintain a Black Shield while Amy Flash is in effect. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and to top it all off]] all of this is accompanied by [[MostAnnoyingSound her endlessly shouting "Yeah!" in her overly-perky voice.]]
** The mobile game ''Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom'' has fake balance between the characters whose specials involve collecting rings. Sonic's power is to magnetize rings towards him when boost is activated, which may pick up around ten to twenty rings you wouldn't normally reach. Amy's power is to get five rings for every obstacle she smashes when boost is activated, which will conservatively earn twice as much even if you miss some obstacles, and she can be unlocked very early. Moreover, Sonic's power can be completely negated if you happen to run into a Magnet power-up, which does the same thing, while there is no equivalent power-up to Amy's power.
* In ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion 2'', every spaceship had a finite amount of room for weapons and other systems, and every race was limited to -10 "picks" in negative attributes and 20 "picks" worth of positive attributes. Naturally, nothing whatsoever cost anywhere near what it should, so everyone played with Unification/Tolerant/Repulsive races and crammed as many Plasma Cannons onto their ships as possible.
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlueCalamityTrigger'' suffers slightly from this. [[GlassCannon Nu-13 is meant to be balanced by low health.]] But her projectile combos and teleport moves made it nigh-impossible for some characters to land even a single hit, making her health irrelevant. Come the sequel, her projectiles can't combo, and her teleport is gone.
* Many ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' games have balance issues where certain matchups are unfairly difficult. In the earliest games certain characters lacked an effective method for dealing with projectiles, so they'd end up pinned down by fireball traps. Combo-oriented games like ''VideoGame/XMenVsStreetFighter'' or ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' had infinite combos for every character.
* In ''VideoGame/GuardiansOfMiddleEarth'', Agandaûr would fit the unbalanced skillset category. His ultimate ability is an enormous shockwave that can kill most enemy guardians in one hit in a game where most characters are meant to be able to throw all their skills at each other and still survive. This is supposed to be balanced by the fact that his other skills are weaker, his ultimate can be interrupted by crowd control effects, and Agandaûr has a poor health pool. However, if you can kill everyone near you extremely fast, it doesn't matter how poor your health is if everyone else is dead, and the fact that his other skills are weaker is offset by the fact that the shockwave has a cooldown of less than 30 seconds, making it regenerate faster than the respawn time.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Mercenaries}} 2'', you can regenerate health. The developers decided that to balance this out, '''everyone in the goddamn world gets a rocket launcher.''' Vehicles have tissue paper for armor, too, so it's not as if you'll find much sanctuary from all that rocket and tank fire. [[strike:Nine]] Ten times out of ten, when explosives are flying, they're flying at ''you.'' Not even freakin' Wolverine could survive this crap!
** This is a problem in ''VideoGame/RedFaction: Guerilla'' and ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'', too, but it's not as bad in the former and [[GodzillaThreshold makes sense]] in the later.
** ''Call of Duty'', again, has this problem as well. ''United Offensive'' decided to up the challenge present in the base game - by lessening how often dead enemies will drop medkits when you're injured and giving the Germans a new, incredibly powerful semi-auto rifle. Your only chance of survival is letting your AI teammates do all the fighting, because if you try to do anything, you will lose half your health in one shot and most likely will not be able to replenish a single bit of it afterwards. ''Call of Duty 2'' switched to RegeneratingHealth - and now you're forced to [[TooDumbToLive run right up towards enemy tanks and stand up in front of enemy machine-gunners]] (things real soldiers in real wars ''very quickly learn '''not''' to do'') every fifteen seconds to balance it out.
*** Regenerating health has caused a lot of this in modern games, where developers design the game around the idea that the player has effectively infinite health, without taking into account the fact that the player needs time where they're not getting injured for regeneration to kick in. ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany'' is another good example, since its draw is destructible cover, [[ThisIsGonnaSuck combined with the typical "give absolutely every enemy a rocket launcher" idea]] that modern shooters always do - if you're injured enough that you have to hide and heal in this game, you're basically already dead.
* A textbook example of fake balance was present in the old ''VideoGame/{{Asteroids}}''-like Mac game ''Asterax''. The player can choose one of three ships: [[JackOfAllStats the Manta]], which had mediocre everything; [[MightyGlacier the Crab]], which had good guns and shields but tiny engines; and [[FragileSpeedster the Mantis]], which had good engines but tiny guns and shields. The problem with this arrangement came in the form of the game's item shop selling guns, engines and shields, which meant that a Crab pilot could upgrade away their ship's sole deficiency with a single purchase, while Manta and Mantis pilots would need to buy two or three upgrades to reach the same level of effectiveness. Not to mention, as you might expect in an Asteroids game, "better" (i.e. faster) engines can make the game [[NonIndicativeDifficulty harder instead of easier]] anyway.
* When ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'''s expansion was released the game creators specifically left out any programming to let it be multiplayer knowing full well that some of the units could be used in truly epic overpowering moves. At the top of the list was the Harbinger Gunship (pretty much a flying heavy tank with either a heavy gun or machine gun), the desolator (could kill anything on the ground) and the Giga Fortress, a floating island with 6 main weapons that could transform into a flying head with a ridiculously powerful WaveMotionGun.
** ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'' purposefully used something close to "Everything's Cheap". Like almost all ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' games, you still have to pump out tanks. But rather than making a bunch of rock-paper-scissors effects with units that can stop tanks, and other units which can stop the tank-stoppers but lose to tanks, they made many units which can be countered by almost anything at all, but if you use them quickly and effectively before they were countered, they could achieve a decisive result. Some games would work out with two equally powerful tank forces facing off while each player tried to be the first one to sneak a spy, hero, commando, etc, into the enemy base, secretly build up some airplanes or ships to attack his enemy's construction yard, etc.
*** Sandbagged Allied GI troops. They may be immobile, but they easily overcome this when they settle down near an enemy base, pulling out their [[GameBreaker absurdly powerful machine guns]], that can destroy tanks in good numbers. A bunch of them trained well can stop any enemy player's assault because once a unit is constructed, it is already destroyed. Gets even worse in the expansion pack where the new Guardian [=GIs=] might not be much for killing infantry but when deployed, there's simply no way to force them out of their holes because while the massive firepower of massed [=GIs=] could be offset by suicide-rushing tanks at them in order to crush the immobile soldiers, deployed Guardian [=GIs=] are ''uncrushable and have anti-tank weapons''. Combining the two means certain death to the enemy.
** In the original ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'', while at first you get the impression that the sides are balanced but with different play styles, it's quickly apparent in multiplayer just how much more powerful the Soviets are. They have the best tanks, the best ''anti''-tanks, and the best artillery. The only truly effective units on the Allied sides are the cruiser (emblematic of one way to get this trope -- the game tries to balance out some of the Soviets' advantages with tanks by giving the Allies a better navy, the problem being that you can always find a use for tanks, while ships require a sufficiently large body of water to even be ''deployed'', let alone used as more than a floating, unrepairable base defence) and the mechanic.
* ''VideoGame/WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne'' has a unique case in reguards to its single-player only Naga race. Since the Naga are singleplayer only, its understandable that Blizzard would overlook balancing this race. The Naga aren't even close to having the same amount of gameplay units and structures as the main orc, human, undead and night elf factions, but once you get your chance to play as the Naga, the unbalance towards how much more powerful their units are in regards to the main races mentioned above becomes apparent. The most obvious unbalance is in reguards to the Naga's flying unit, the Couatl. They're about as powerful as the orc Wyverns without their poison spears, but the main difference is that building Wyverns take four food while the Couatls only need two (plus, they have the ability Abolish Magic). Couatl are forces to be reckoned with, but to give these beasts the same amount of food cost as normal footmen just wasn't good balancing. Massing an army of Couatl just spells game-over to the opponent. Thankfully, you only get a shot to build these things in one total mission of the ''Frozen Throne'' campaign and the enemy Naga opponents in the game barely ever send more than 4 to 6 of them at a time on Hard difficulty to truly see how unbalanced they are.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' took a fairly simple approach to balance. In general, most characters can fit into one of three groups: [[FragileSpeedster Fast, but light]] and weak; [[MightyGlacier strong and heavy, but slow]]; and [[JackOfAllStats "balanced" characters who are somewhere in between]]. This sounds good in theory - slower characters don't have to hit as much to KO you, and are more resistant to being KO'd themselves - the problem is that fast characters generally have a much higher combo ability, allowing them to easily turn one weak hit into several, ultimately dealing more damage than the few, powerful hits that heavyweights dish out. Additionally, heavyweights themselves are extremely susceptible to combos, as their weight works against them by keeping them in range of their attacker, and they are usually large in stature as well, making them that much easier to hit. The heavyweights have effective {{Herd Hitting Attack}}s that can be unleashed while other players are distracted with each other, but this is no help in 1v1 matches, which are the standard for competitive play. This has ultimately led to complex CharacterTiers appearing (despite [[MemeticMutation claims that "tires don exits"]]) and the MetaGame being stormed by fast characters like Fox and Falco, though with a few exceptions such as Jigglypuff and Peach.
** In the fourth game, [[VideoGame/PunchOut Little Mac]] seems to fall under "unbalanced skillset". Mac is a brutal LightningBruiser on the ground, with several of his attacks making him ImmuneToFlinching and he even has an instant-KO attack. To balance this, he's absolutley abysmal in the air. The problem is air game isn't all that relevant on the Final Destination forms of stages, and a single long platform is the perfect setup for his ground game, resulting in him being by far the most used character in For Glory mode online.
*** And then when the meta developed and the air game became much more important, followed by players realizing how awful Mac's recovery was, he immediately became somewhat of a joke character, as players in FG would regularly just throw him off and use a single follow-up attack to take his first stock. Similarly, picking Little Mac in any sort of 4 stock competitive setting results in a quick loss amidst a stream of tears. Especially now that [[VideoGame/StreetFighter Ryu]] is out, who is widely considered 'better Mac with air game'.
[[folder:Sports]]



* ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal'' games, ''2'' in particular, messed up ''hard''. Some vehicles/characters were slow, tough and had powerful short ranged special weapons and did a lot of ramming damage, usually enough to instantly kill an opponent with a melee combo. Others were weak, fast and usually long ranged. The obvious problem was that the faster vehicles could simply keep running away and either do hit and run attacks or use their long distance weapons while the slower ones were unable to catch up. The worst example was Spectre, the second fastest vehicle in the game with a special that ''goes through walls''.
** ''VideoGame/{{Vigilante 8}}'' and its sequel averted this issue for the most part by introducing weapons with mapwide range and giving the heavy vehicles ''long'' ranged special weapons instead of short ranged ones, thereby ensuring that if the weak fast vehicle keeps running away endlessly he'll lose due to [[CherryTapping attrition damage]]. Also, one of the [[LimitBreak secondary fire modes]] of said mapwide weapon disables the target, giving even the slowest vehicle a chance to close the gap. The exceptions are the [[JokeCharacter bus]] and the sequel's garbage truck, both with short ranged weapons and agonisingly slow, both completely useless.
* Early ''VideoGame/WipeOut'' games had ships that excelled in either handling, acceleration, shield or top speed. But air brakes made it so you wouldn't lose speed if you took corners properly, making acceleration moot, and also making handling irrelevant provided you're good enough to not crash (which was harder in a ship with low handling, but [[DifficultButAwesome hard didn't mean slow]]). And if you didn't crash, shield was also unimportant. As a result, the best ship in the game was invariably the fastest ship regardless of its other stats, to the point where a ship with 10% extra speed and zero in all other stats was the best ship. This was averted in later titles where you do slow down while cornering and the enemies [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy sometimes actually hit you]] with their weapons.
* ''VideoGame/MarioKart Wii'' had a pretty bad balancing issue between karts and bikes. In theory, karts had more powerful mini-turbos than bikes, but bikes could pop a wheelie for a speed boost in exchange for worse steering and slowing down to a crawl should they bump into anything while doing a wheelie, which would also come into play with the game's constant bombardment of items. However, players that used bikes quickly realized that they could use wheelies at any time and would do so at every chance they got, which gave them a huge advantage on tracks that had many straight roads. Because of this, karts simply could never keep up with a wheelie spamming biker and this boiled over quickly into online play and time trial records.
** Mario Kart has other examples of this too. For example, in Mario Kart Double Dash and Wii, the two types of karts (high acceleration/low speed and high speed/low acceleration) were meant to be roughly balanced, the former could recover from item hits and quickly reach top speed, but couldn't keep up with the latter if it was in front. Unfortunately, high acceleration was also tied into mini turbo stats, so people found they could mini turbo/drift non stop ('snaking'/PRB) and in effect have a permanent Mushroom boost speed, making speed based karts entirely pointless.
** Then Mario Kart Wii added the aforementioned bikes and a standstill mini turbo technique, which made both karts and acceleration based bikes useless.
** And Mario Kart 7, due to having the power slide system from the last game plus no bikes has swung the balance back again, with items making acceleration based kart setups the only practical ones.
* As far as most of the classic ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' modding community is concerned, "spawn a million more Revenants" is the answer to all problems, from populating the map to setting up an ambush when the player grabs an important item. This basically turns any given mod into ''Mercenaries 2'' as above, with explosives constantly flying at you from all directions.
* A fan wrote [[http://apricotmappingservice.com/unbalanced.html an entire essay/rant on this trope]] in regards to ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X3: Reunion]]''. In theory the ships in the game have two axes of balance (FactionCalculus and ship classes) and are pretty well designed. In practice, ArtificialStupidity, the SchizophrenicDifficulty of in-sector versus out-of-sector combat, and the lack of a good fleet command interface put the balance into a blender.
** In the sequel, ''Terran Conflict'', in addition to the above Terran, ATF, and OTAS ships are balanced by being more expensive than other ships. By the time you're buying ships in large quantities you'll likely have [[MoneyForNothing more money coming in from your investments than you know what to do with]].
* Ludia's video game adaptation of the GameShow ''Series/PressYourLuck'' often has the AI opponents answer even the most basic of questions (e.g. "How much is 6 times 4?") wrong so that they rarely have more spins than the actual player.
* In the UsefulNotes/BBCMicro game ''Ravenskull'', you can play as one of four characters, but there is no difference in gameplay. The PC remake gives each of the four a different power. However, the warrior's power (ravenbees drain health instead of killing you instantly) is very poorly balanced; you lose health for every ten squares travelled, and the levels are long enough that you never have much to spare. One hit from a ravenbee and you're probably doomed anyway.

to:

* ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal'' games, ''2'' in particular, messed up ''hard''. Some vehicles/characters were slow, tough and had powerful short ranged special weapons and did a lot of ramming damage, usually enough to instantly kill an opponent with a melee combo. Others were weak, fast and usually long ranged. The obvious problem was that the faster vehicles could simply keep running away and either do hit and run attacks or use their long distance weapons while the slower ones were unable to catch up. The worst example was Spectre, the second fastest vehicle in the game with a special that ''goes through walls''.
** ''VideoGame/{{Vigilante 8}}'' and its sequel averted this issue for the most part by introducing weapons with mapwide range and giving the heavy vehicles ''long'' ranged special weapons instead of short ranged ones, thereby ensuring that if the weak fast vehicle keeps running away endlessly he'll lose due to [[CherryTapping attrition damage]]. Also, one of the [[LimitBreak secondary fire modes]] of said mapwide weapon disables the target, giving even the slowest vehicle a chance to close the gap. The exceptions are the [[JokeCharacter bus]] and the sequel's garbage truck, both with short ranged weapons and agonisingly slow, both completely useless.
* Early ''VideoGame/WipeOut'' games had ships that excelled in either handling, acceleration, shield or top speed. But air brakes made it so you wouldn't lose speed if you took corners properly, making acceleration moot, and also making handling irrelevant provided you're good enough to not crash (which was harder in a ship with low handling, but [[DifficultButAwesome hard didn't mean slow]]). And if you didn't crash, shield was also unimportant. As a result, the best ship in the game was invariably the fastest ship regardless of its other stats, to the point where a ship with 10% extra speed and zero in all other stats was the best ship. This was averted in later titles where you do slow down while cornering and the enemies [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy sometimes actually hit you]] with their weapons.
* ''VideoGame/MarioKart Wii'' had a pretty bad balancing issue between karts and bikes. In theory, karts had more powerful mini-turbos than bikes, but bikes could pop a wheelie for a speed boost in exchange for worse steering and slowing down to a crawl should they bump into anything while doing a wheelie, which would also come into play with the game's constant bombardment of items. However, players that used bikes quickly realized that they could use wheelies at any time and would do so at every chance they got, which gave them a huge advantage on tracks that had many straight roads. Because of this, karts simply could never keep up with a wheelie spamming biker and this boiled over quickly into online play and time trial records.
** Mario Kart has other examples of this too. For example, in Mario Kart Double Dash and Wii, the two types of karts (high acceleration/low speed and high speed/low acceleration) were meant to be roughly balanced, the former could recover from item hits and quickly reach top speed, but couldn't keep up with the latter if it was in front. Unfortunately, high acceleration was also tied into mini turbo stats, so people found they could mini turbo/drift non stop ('snaking'/PRB) and in effect have a permanent Mushroom boost speed, making speed based karts entirely pointless.
** Then Mario Kart Wii added the aforementioned bikes and a standstill mini turbo technique, which made both karts and acceleration based bikes useless.
** And Mario Kart 7, due to having the power slide system from the last game plus no bikes has swung the balance back again, with items making acceleration based kart setups the only practical ones.
* As far as most of the classic ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' modding community is concerned, "spawn a million more Revenants" is the answer to all problems, from populating the map to setting up an ambush when the player grabs an important item. This basically turns any given mod into ''Mercenaries 2'' as above, with explosives constantly flying at you from all directions.
* A fan wrote [[http://apricotmappingservice.com/unbalanced.html an entire essay/rant on this trope]] in regards to ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X3: Reunion]]''. In theory the ships in the game have two axes of balance (FactionCalculus and ship classes) and are pretty well designed. In practice, ArtificialStupidity, the SchizophrenicDifficulty of in-sector versus out-of-sector combat, and the lack of a good fleet command interface put the balance into a blender.
** In the sequel, ''Terran Conflict'', in addition to the above Terran, ATF, and OTAS ships are balanced by being more expensive than other ships. By the time you're buying ships in large quantities you'll likely have [[MoneyForNothing more money coming in from your investments than you know what to do with]].
* Ludia's video game adaptation of the GameShow ''Series/PressYourLuck'' often has the AI opponents answer even the most basic of questions (e.g. "How much is 6 times 4?") wrong so that they rarely have more spins than the actual player.
* In the UsefulNotes/BBCMicro game ''Ravenskull'', you can play as one of four characters, but there is no difference in gameplay. The PC remake gives each of the four a different power. However, the warrior's power (ravenbees drain health instead of killing you instantly) is very poorly balanced; you lose health for every ten squares travelled, and the levels are long enough that you never have much to spare. One hit from a ravenbee and you're probably doomed anyway.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Survival Horror]]



* In ''Manga/SaintSeiya: Sanctuary Battle'', literally the only thing that defines how good or bad a character is is his projectile attack. During the stages with waves of soldiers, projectiles deal huge amounts of damage, hit enemies multiple times due to pushing them forward as the projectile moves on, and go through almost everything, destroying breakable objects and revealing items, killing entire squads with a single button press while the player is safe, so the player can clear missions and stages lightning fast taking low damage and dealing tons of punishment, making getting high ranks trivial. Bosses, in the other hand, have hyperguard active 90% of the time and more often than not their deadliest skills are the short-range ones or create minefields around themselves. Melee characters have to approach with caution while looking at the scarce moments they have their guard open, while anyone with a good projectile can keep away, wait for a opening, activate 7th Sense and fire off their energy beams for safe and powerful blows.
* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' is often credited as the game that codified perfect imbalance, with every patch slightly favoring one particular type of champion over others through base statistic manipulation and updated ability kits every now and then.
** There are [[AnAdventurerIsYou tank, assassin and fighter]] type junglers. Halfway through Season 3, tanks were the only viable choice because gold income for junglers is so low that expensive offensive builds cannot get off the ground against skilled opponents. Season 4, however, saw a surge in assassin-type junglers due to increases on the gold income the player can get from the jungle. Also, junglers with very long ranged dashes, jumps or speed boosts are always better than other junglers because they can sail past wards and jump the laners before they have time to react, enabling them to score kills even against hard turtling opponents.
** The jungler role entered a state of almost complete flux after season 4 finished. Pre-season 5 rolled in with a complete update of the Summoner's Rift, including, of course, the jungle monsters. The update initially introduced two little crabs that are rather hard to kill but deal no damage and give line of sight of the river when you kill them. The Dragon, instead of just giving its killer a big gold bonus, now gave a permanent, team-wide buff depending on how much Dragon kills your team had, peaking at a massive temporary buff after killing the Dragon five times. Baron Nashor was likewise reworked to grant a team buff that grants a shorter recall and causes any minions near a buffed champion to gain a lot of health, toughness and damage. Season 6 then introduced a Rift Herald that is basically a mini-Baron Nashor that grants a similar bonus to the individual champions who killed it. Then the Smite summoner spell was split into three (initially ''five'', but two were axed): the base spell that just hurts CPU-controlled units, the now defunct White Smite for plundering the enemy jungle, Red and Blue Smite for hurting and slowing enemy champions, the now defunct Purple Smite for extra fast jungle clearing, plus a jungler item introduced on season 6 that doesn't change your Smite but gives you instead refillable sight wards. And every time you Smite a jungle monster, you gain a special buff depending on the one you smote, such as being able to see enemy wards if you smite the Razorbeak. The result was a ''much'' greater protagonism for the jungler, who could now be as decisive as the mid-laner or the ADC on early and mid-game regarding the team's entire performance. Season 5 started out with fighter-tanky junglers back in vogue thanks to a jungler item enchantment that grants 25% extra health instead of just a fixed number, then moved on to mage junglers gaining an upper hand with an enchantment that granted a lot of ability power.
** The bottom lane meta. Certain carries have an escape ability and/or utility, others are all about damage. These two types have never been balanced. During the early sustain meta, it didn't matter because no one died in bottom lane anyway. As sustain and poke supports were gradually nerfed into oblivion and new junglers and supports with powerful gap closers and lockdown abilities were released, escape abilities became mandatory for survival, resulting in the "holy trinity" of Corki-Graves-Ezreal plus Tristana being the only viable carries at the end of Season 2. The ongoing kill potential creep eventually overwhelmed most escape abilities except Ezreal's [[GameBreaker instant blink]], making safety largely irrelevant and again favouring carries with raw damage over everything else.
** Early Season 3 mid lane. Physical assassins (Talon/Kha'Zix) were a direct counter to the typical mid lane mages, rendering pretty much the entire selection of mid lane mages irrelevant. Before that, there was a time during Season 2 when mid lane was essentially Talon countering Morgana and Morgana/Kassadin countering everyone else.
** Top lane is currently Jayce/Elise/Kennen/Teemo using their range advantage to obliterate the entire huge pool of top lane fighters. While fighters have many advantages (tons of damage, free stats, an actual ultimate unlike two of the above, cheap builds) and are in fact designed to be statistically better than anything else on the field, their range disadvantage is virtually impossible to make up for unless the opponent is unskilled.
** Pre-season 6 started out with a Graves rework that turned him into the shortest-ranged, most damaging marksman of the entire roster, along with extra mechanics on four widely-used bot lane marksmen champions: Corki, Caitlyn and Miss Fortune. Then season 6 kicked off with a new champion: Jhin, who converts critical damage and attack speed into pure basic attack damage and is therefore capable of ending up with ''over 1000 attack damage'', plus a Graves-like passive that gives you ''one free critical hit every 4 shots regardless of item build''. And as if the bottom lane wasn't already powerful enough, on top of all that Shen also got a rework that made him one of the best bot lane support champions of the entire game.
** Counterplay-based balance also plays a huge role in LOL's metagame. AD assassins, for example, are capable of delivering enough damage to single-handedly slaughter the entire enemy team and many people think they're broken beyond redemption. To counterplay an AD assassin, you just need to stun them and leave their paper-thin defenses at the mercy of your team. To counterplay a stun, you just need a Quicksilver Sash. To counterplay a QSS, on ranked games you have your team pick a champion that has knock-up stun (Cho'gath, Blitzcrank, Janna) if you see the enemy using an AD assassin, or you bait the enemy assassin into using it before initiating the fight. To counterplay QSS baiting, you use the Dispel summoner spell or you tell your support to purchase a Mikael's Crucible that can erase hard CC on friendly champions. Going through another counterplay route, there is also the fact that AD assassins often need ridiculously large amounts of gold to reach their full potential, so bullying them as hard as possible should result in them staying weak and frail for the entire duration of the game.
* ''VideoGame/AliensVsPredatorExtinction'' only has single player campaign, but that doesn't mean it's not susceptible to balance problems. Difficulty in order goes from Aliens (Pathetically easy), Marines (Somewhat easy), and Predators (NintendoHard), and for several reasons.
** Aliens are ridiculously powerful. They only have to spend points to create units once (assuming the Queen never needs to fight), and their unit cap is incredibly large (As expected from a race of zerg rushers). The fact that every unit only costs one supply only allows then to get even more numbers.
** The Aliens' weaknesses are two things. One, they lack ranged units. However, most of their units can easily close the gaps between units, and their only ranged unit is one of the most useful aliens in the game, the worker alien, solely because anyone they hit after upgraded will create more powerful aliens. Their second weakness is that if they don't win battles early on, they'll be pretty weak. This doesn't necessarily mean battles against the other factions. If they have easy access to scientists or, worse, respawnable critters, they will have no problems with creating a stupidly large army.

to:

* In ''Manga/SaintSeiya: Sanctuary Battle'', literally the only thing that defines how good or bad a character is is his projectile attack. During the stages with waves of soldiers, projectiles deal huge amounts of damage, hit enemies multiple times due to pushing them forward as the projectile moves on, and go through almost everything, destroying breakable objects and revealing items, killing entire squads with a single button press while the player is safe, so the player can clear missions and stages lightning fast taking low damage and dealing tons of punishment, making getting high ranks trivial. Bosses, in the other hand, have hyperguard active 90% of the time and more often than not their deadliest skills are the short-range ones or create minefields around themselves. Melee characters have to approach with caution while looking at the scarce moments they have their guard open, while anyone with a good projectile can keep away, wait for a opening, activate 7th Sense and fire off their energy beams for safe and powerful blows.
* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' is often credited as the game that codified perfect imbalance, with every patch slightly favoring one particular type of champion over others through base statistic manipulation and updated ability kits every now and then.
** There are [[AnAdventurerIsYou tank, assassin and fighter]] type junglers. Halfway through Season 3, tanks were the only viable choice because gold income for junglers is so low that expensive offensive builds cannot get off the ground against skilled opponents. Season 4, however, saw a surge in assassin-type junglers due to increases on the gold income the player can get from the jungle. Also, junglers with very long ranged dashes, jumps or speed boosts are always better than other junglers because they can sail past wards and jump the laners before they have time to react, enabling them to score kills even against hard turtling opponents.
** The jungler role entered a state of almost complete flux after season 4 finished. Pre-season 5 rolled in with a complete update of the Summoner's Rift, including, of course, the jungle monsters. The update initially introduced two little crabs that are rather hard to kill but deal no damage and give line of sight of the river when you kill them. The Dragon, instead of just giving its killer a big gold bonus, now gave a permanent, team-wide buff depending on how much Dragon kills your team had, peaking at a massive temporary buff after killing the Dragon five times. Baron Nashor was likewise reworked to grant a team buff that grants a shorter recall and causes any minions near a buffed champion to gain a lot of health, toughness and damage. Season 6 then introduced a Rift Herald that is basically a mini-Baron Nashor that grants a similar bonus to the individual champions who killed it. Then the Smite summoner spell was split into three (initially ''five'', but two were axed): the base spell that just hurts CPU-controlled units, the now defunct White Smite for plundering the enemy jungle, Red and Blue Smite for hurting and slowing enemy champions, the now defunct Purple Smite for extra fast jungle clearing, plus a jungler item introduced on season 6 that doesn't change your Smite but gives you instead refillable sight wards. And every time you Smite a jungle monster, you gain a special buff depending on the one you smote, such as being able to see enemy wards if you smite the Razorbeak. The result was a ''much'' greater protagonism for the jungler, who could now be as decisive as the mid-laner or the ADC on early and mid-game regarding the team's entire performance. Season 5 started out with fighter-tanky junglers back in vogue thanks to a jungler item enchantment that grants 25% extra health instead of just a fixed number, then moved on to mage junglers gaining an upper hand with an enchantment that granted a lot of ability power.
** The bottom lane meta. Certain carries have an escape ability and/or utility, others are all about damage. These two types have never been balanced. During the early sustain meta, it didn't matter because no one died in bottom lane anyway. As sustain and poke supports were gradually nerfed into oblivion and new junglers and supports with powerful gap closers and lockdown abilities were released, escape abilities became mandatory for survival, resulting in the "holy trinity" of Corki-Graves-Ezreal plus Tristana being the only viable carries at the end of Season 2. The ongoing kill potential creep eventually overwhelmed most escape abilities except Ezreal's [[GameBreaker instant blink]], making safety largely irrelevant and again favouring carries with raw damage over everything else.
** Early Season 3 mid lane. Physical assassins (Talon/Kha'Zix) were a direct counter to the typical mid lane mages, rendering pretty much the entire selection of mid lane mages irrelevant. Before that, there was a time during Season 2 when mid lane was essentially Talon countering Morgana and Morgana/Kassadin countering everyone else.
** Top lane is currently Jayce/Elise/Kennen/Teemo using their range advantage to obliterate the entire huge pool of top lane fighters. While fighters have many advantages (tons of damage, free stats, an actual ultimate unlike two of the above, cheap builds) and are in fact designed to be statistically better than anything else on the field, their range disadvantage is virtually impossible to make up for unless the opponent is unskilled.
** Pre-season 6 started out with a Graves rework that turned him into the shortest-ranged, most damaging marksman of the entire roster, along with extra mechanics on four widely-used bot lane marksmen champions: Corki, Caitlyn and Miss Fortune. Then season 6 kicked off with a new champion: Jhin, who converts critical damage and attack speed into pure basic attack damage and is therefore capable of ending up with ''over 1000 attack damage'', plus a Graves-like passive that gives you ''one free critical hit every 4 shots regardless of item build''. And as if the bottom lane wasn't already powerful enough, on top of all that Shen also got a rework that made him one of the best bot lane support champions of the entire game.
** Counterplay-based balance also plays a huge role in LOL's metagame. AD assassins, for example, are capable of delivering enough damage to single-handedly slaughter the entire enemy team and many people think they're broken beyond redemption. To counterplay an AD assassin, you just need to stun them and leave their paper-thin defenses at the mercy of your team. To counterplay a stun, you just need a Quicksilver Sash. To counterplay a QSS, on ranked games you have your team pick a champion that has knock-up stun (Cho'gath, Blitzcrank, Janna) if you see the enemy using an AD assassin, or you bait the enemy assassin into using it before initiating the fight. To counterplay QSS baiting, you use the Dispel summoner spell or you tell your support to purchase a Mikael's Crucible that can erase hard CC on friendly champions. Going through another counterplay route, there is also the fact that AD assassins often need ridiculously large amounts of gold to reach their full potential, so bullying them as hard as possible should result in them staying weak and frail for the entire duration of the game.
* ''VideoGame/AliensVsPredatorExtinction'' only has single player campaign, but that doesn't mean it's not susceptible to balance problems. Difficulty in order goes from Aliens (Pathetically easy), Marines (Somewhat easy), and Predators (NintendoHard), and for several reasons.
** Aliens are ridiculously powerful. They only have to spend points to create units once (assuming the Queen never needs to fight), and their unit cap is incredibly large (As expected from a race of zerg rushers). The fact that every unit only costs one supply only allows then to get even more numbers.
** The Aliens' weaknesses are two things. One, they lack ranged units. However, most of their units can easily close the gaps between units, and their only ranged unit is one of the most useful aliens in the game, the worker alien, solely because anyone they hit after upgraded will create more powerful aliens. Their second weakness is that if they don't win battles early on, they'll be pretty weak. This doesn't necessarily mean battles against the other factions. If they have easy access to scientists or, worse, respawnable critters, they will have no problems with creating a stupidly large army.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Turn-Based Strategy]]



* The Thraddash in ''VideoGame/StarControlII''. This ship is designed to be a JokeCharacter: it has very few crew, and its weapon does a measly one damage. However, said weapon also has an unusually long range, and the ship is one of the fastest in the game when its afterburner is used. This allows a skilled Thraddash player to stay out of range from the other ship's guns while [[DeathOfAThousandCuts slowly wearing it down]]. Thraddash is the only ship which is routinely banned from competitive play, for this reason.
** The price the Androsynth is so much lower than the actual value of the ship that it's considered a must-have.
** As a side effect of the Androsynth being considered a must-have because of its price, the Orz, which is otherwise reasonably priced, is made far less effective; the Androsynth is the natural counter to the Orz, so you're pretty much guaranteed to only be able to use it effectively for one battle. This hurts especially hard because the Orz is a very powerful ship, and typically only cost-effective if it can win multiple battles.
** The Ur-Quan Dreadnought is supposed to be one of the most powerful ships in the game, equipped with a very powerful, rapid-fire fusion blaster and able to launch large waves of smaller fighters. Unfortunately, the fusion blaster travels slowly, making it difficult to aim at fast-moving targets, and the fighters, which cost a crew each to launch, are incredibly stupid and fragile. These factors added together make the Ur-Quan so ineffective compared to its great cost that it has been called the "Banana Boat" by some fans.
** The Spathi Eluder manages to achieve this in ''both directions''. Against the A.I., the Spathi is massively overpowering; the A.I. stupidly chases a fleeing player around, and the Spathi shoots homing missiles from behind, so many A.I. controlled ships can be easily decimated by the Spathi. Against humans who know better than to blindly chase around the other ship, however, the Spathi's rear-facing missile is pretty much useless because of its slow speed.
* Aircraft types in ''VideoGame/AceCombatInfinity''. Fighters deal increased damage against air targets but suffer a damage penalty against ground and sea targets, Attackers are the other way around, and Multiroles have neither a bonus nor a penalty. So far so good, but Multiroles also have a noticeably higher amount of slots for performance-enhancing parts, allowing players to specialize them for either role while keeping respectable performance in the other role. Combined with the mostly unpredictable variations in enemy targets in the missions and the fact that upgrading one Multirole is far cheaper than dumping cash on both a Fighter and an Attacker, it's no surprise that they're the most used aircraft type.
* In VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV Online, the player is given the ability to carry additional armor vests and snacks to eat in firefights to help keep them going. So, of course, the armor is [[ArmorIsUseless about as sturdy as wet cardboard]], and ConservationOfNinjitsu is drop-kicked out the window as [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard enemy NPCs have tank plating for armor]].
** The Heists Update added Adversary modes, in which a team of Hunters or Attackers with infinite lives hunt down Runners or Defenders with only one life each. Two of these modes give the alleged prey gross advantages.
*** In [[TheChase Come Out to Play]], the Hunters are put onto motorcycles which they must be on at all times, wielding only the sawed-off shotgun. Meanwhile, the Runners get highly-accurate assault rifles and machine guns which can automatically lock on to the Hunters, whose [[ShortRangeShotgun shotguns]] don't get the same pleasure, not to mention that it's impossible to aim ''any'' gun in a vehicle, unless you stop, which just makes you a sitting duck.
*** [[HoldTheLine Siege Mentality]], in which the Attackers are once again restricted to sawed-off shotguns, but the Defenders are given heavy weapons. The Defenders are restricted to a certain area, but the area is typically rich in cover, giving the Defenders a place to shoot the Attackers dead over and over with impunity.
*** In Hasta la Vista, [[NoItemUseForYou no one has weapons]]. The runners are on bicycles, running from hunters driving semi trucks. The runners have a head start, but that doesn't matter, because the trucks are actually faster, and the advanced mobility of the bikes barely makes a difference in that the hunters can simply steer to compensate.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'' features a few examples, but none so extreme as the Tonkor. At release, the Tonkor was advertised as a weapon designed for grenade-jumping, a la the Demoman from ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''; previous explosive weapons had been tempered by the potential for users to kill themselves via splash damage, but in order to facilitate this unique mechanic, the developers capped the Tonkor's self-damage at a fixed 50 points (low enough to be negligible most of the time). In exchange, it came with low ammo reserves and a tiny magazine, even among its fellow launchers, and a relatively low reload speed punished missed shots; compared to its direct competitor, the Penta, it also suffered a small penalty to base damage and lost the ability to manually detonate its grenades. Unfortunately, the developers made two fatal miscalculations: the negligible self-damage made the weapon much safer in close quarters, which are vastly over-represented in the game's tilesets, and it featured very high crit stats, which let it deal 5.5 times its normal damage seven shots out of eight if properly modded. The end result? A devastating crowd-clearer with little-to-no skill required for use.
* In ''VideoGame/ToejamAndEarl'', [=ToeJam=] is slightly faster, and Earl has slightly more HP. Earl's extra hit points aren't worth much (especially after gaining a few ranks), when [=ToeJam=] can avoid being hit entirely much easier. Later stages only exacerbate the difference. Certain enemies are faster than Earl, meaning if he's caught in an open area, he's pretty much guaranteed to lose a life, while [=ToeJam=] could escape with only a few hits.

to:

* The Thraddash in ''VideoGame/StarControlII''. This ship is designed to be a JokeCharacter: it has very few crew, and its weapon does a measly one damage. However, said weapon also has an unusually long range, and the ship is one of the fastest in the game when its afterburner is used. This allows a skilled Thraddash player to stay out of range from the other ship's guns while [[DeathOfAThousandCuts slowly wearing it down]]. Thraddash is the only ship which is routinely banned from competitive play, for this reason.
** The price the Androsynth is so much lower than the actual value of the ship that it's considered a must-have.
** As a side effect of the Androsynth being considered a must-have because of its price, the Orz, which is otherwise reasonably priced, is made far less effective; the Androsynth is the natural counter to the Orz, so you're pretty much guaranteed to only be able to use it effectively for one battle. This hurts especially hard because the Orz is a very powerful ship, and typically only cost-effective if it can win multiple battles.
** The Ur-Quan Dreadnought is supposed to be one of the most powerful ships in the game, equipped with a very powerful, rapid-fire fusion blaster and able to launch large waves of smaller fighters. Unfortunately, the fusion blaster travels slowly, making it difficult to aim at fast-moving targets, and the fighters, which cost a crew each to launch, are incredibly stupid and fragile. These factors added together make the Ur-Quan so ineffective compared to its great cost that it has been called the "Banana Boat" by some fans.
** The Spathi Eluder manages to achieve this in ''both directions''. Against the A.I., the Spathi is massively overpowering; the A.I. stupidly chases a fleeing player around, and the Spathi shoots homing missiles from behind, so many A.I. controlled ships can be easily decimated by the Spathi. Against humans who know better than to blindly chase around the other ship, however, the Spathi's rear-facing missile is pretty much useless because of its slow speed.
* Aircraft types in ''VideoGame/AceCombatInfinity''. Fighters deal increased damage against air targets but suffer a damage penalty against ground and sea targets, Attackers are the other way around, and Multiroles have neither a bonus nor a penalty. So far so good, but Multiroles also have a noticeably higher amount of slots for performance-enhancing parts, allowing players to specialize them for either role while keeping respectable performance in the other role. Combined with the mostly unpredictable variations in enemy targets in the missions and the fact that upgrading one Multirole is far cheaper than dumping cash on both a Fighter and an Attacker, it's no surprise that they're the most used aircraft type.
* In VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV Online, the player is given the ability to carry additional armor vests and snacks to eat in firefights to help keep them going. So, of course, the armor is [[ArmorIsUseless about as sturdy as wet cardboard]], and ConservationOfNinjitsu is drop-kicked out the window as [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard enemy NPCs have tank plating for armor]].
** The Heists Update added Adversary modes, in which a team of Hunters or Attackers with infinite lives hunt down Runners or Defenders with only one life each. Two of these modes give the alleged prey gross advantages.
*** In [[TheChase Come Out to Play]], the Hunters are put onto motorcycles which they must be on at all times, wielding only the sawed-off shotgun. Meanwhile, the Runners get highly-accurate assault rifles and machine guns which can automatically lock on to the Hunters, whose [[ShortRangeShotgun shotguns]] don't get the same pleasure, not to mention that it's impossible to aim ''any'' gun in a vehicle, unless you stop, which just makes you a sitting duck.
*** [[HoldTheLine Siege Mentality]], in which the Attackers are once again restricted to sawed-off shotguns, but the Defenders are given heavy weapons. The Defenders are restricted to a certain area, but the area is typically rich in cover, giving the Defenders a place to shoot the Attackers dead over and over with impunity.
*** In Hasta la Vista, [[NoItemUseForYou no one has weapons]]. The runners are on bicycles, running from hunters driving semi trucks. The runners have a head start, but that doesn't matter, because the trucks are actually faster, and the advanced mobility of the bikes barely makes a difference in that the hunters can simply steer to compensate.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'' features a few examples, but none so extreme as the Tonkor. At release, the Tonkor was advertised as a weapon designed for grenade-jumping, a la the Demoman from ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''; previous explosive weapons had been tempered by the potential for users to kill themselves via splash damage, but in order to facilitate this unique mechanic, the developers capped the Tonkor's self-damage at a fixed 50 points (low enough to be negligible most of the time). In exchange, it came with low ammo reserves and a tiny magazine, even among its fellow launchers, and a relatively low reload speed punished missed shots; compared to its direct competitor, the Penta, it also suffered a small penalty to base damage and lost the ability to manually detonate its grenades. Unfortunately, the developers made two fatal miscalculations: the negligible self-damage made the weapon much safer in close quarters, which are vastly over-represented in the game's tilesets, and it featured very high crit stats, which let it deal 5.5 times its normal damage seven shots out of eight if properly modded. The end result? A devastating crowd-clearer with little-to-no skill required for use.
* In ''VideoGame/ToejamAndEarl'', [=ToeJam=] is slightly faster, and Earl has slightly more HP. Earl's extra hit points aren't worth much (especially after gaining a few ranks), when [=ToeJam=] can avoid being hit entirely much easier. Later stages only exacerbate the difference. Certain enemies are faster than Earl, meaning if he's caught in an open area, he's pretty much guaranteed to lose a life, while [=ToeJam=] could escape with only a few hits.



Added DiffLines:


[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Mercenaries}} 2'', you can regenerate health. The developers decided that to balance this out, '''everyone in the goddamn world gets a rocket launcher.''' Vehicles have tissue paper for armor, too, so it's not as if you'll find much sanctuary from all that rocket and tank fire. [[strike:Nine]] Ten times out of ten, when explosives are flying, they're flying at ''you.'' Not even freakin' Wolverine could survive this crap!
** This is a problem in ''VideoGame/RedFaction: Guerilla'' and ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'', too, but it's not as bad in the former and [[GodzillaThreshold makes sense]] in the later.
** ''Call of Duty'', again, has this problem as well. ''United Offensive'' decided to up the challenge present in the base game - by lessening how often dead enemies will drop medkits when you're injured and giving the Germans a new, incredibly powerful semi-auto rifle. Your only chance of survival is letting your AI teammates do all the fighting, because if you try to do anything, you will lose half your health in one shot and most likely will not be able to replenish a single bit of it afterwards. ''Call of Duty 2'' switched to RegeneratingHealth - and now you're forced to [[TooDumbToLive run right up towards enemy tanks and stand up in front of enemy machine-gunners]] (things real soldiers in real wars ''very quickly learn '''not''' to do'') every fifteen seconds to balance it out.
*** Regenerating health has caused a lot of this in modern games, where developers design the game around the idea that the player has effectively infinite health, without taking into account the fact that the player needs time where they're not getting injured for regeneration to kick in. ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany'' is another good example, since its draw is destructible cover, [[ThisIsGonnaSuck combined with the typical "give absolutely every enemy a rocket launcher" idea]] that modern shooters always do - if you're injured enough that you have to hide and heal in this game, you're basically already dead.
* In VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV Online, the player is given the ability to carry additional armor vests and snacks to eat in firefights to help keep them going. So, of course, the armor is [[ArmorIsUseless about as sturdy as wet cardboard]], and ConservationOfNinjitsu is drop-kicked out the window as [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard enemy NPCs have tank plating for armor]].
** The Heists Update added Adversary modes, in which a team of Hunters or Attackers with infinite lives hunt down Runners or Defenders with only one life each. Two of these modes give the alleged prey gross advantages.
*** In [[TheChase Come Out to Play]], the Hunters are put onto motorcycles which they must be on at all times, wielding only the sawed-off shotgun. Meanwhile, the Runners get highly-accurate assault rifles and machine guns which can automatically lock on to the Hunters, whose [[ShortRangeShotgun shotguns]] don't get the same pleasure, not to mention that it's impossible to aim ''any'' gun in a vehicle, unless you stop, which just makes you a sitting duck.
*** [[HoldTheLine Siege Mentality]], in which the Attackers are once again restricted to sawed-off shotguns, but the Defenders are given heavy weapons. The Defenders are restricted to a certain area, but the area is typically rich in cover, giving the Defenders a place to shoot the Attackers dead over and over with impunity.
*** In Hasta la Vista, [[NoItemUseForYou no one has weapons]]. The runners are on bicycles, running from hunters driving semi trucks. The runners have a head start, but that doesn't matter, because the trucks are actually faster, and the advanced mobility of the bikes barely makes a difference in that the hunters can simply steer to compensate.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other videogame genres]]
* Aircraft types in ''VideoGame/AceCombatInfinity''. Fighters deal increased damage against air targets but suffer a damage penalty against ground and sea targets, Attackers are the other way around, and Multiroles have neither a bonus nor a penalty. So far so good, but Multiroles also have a noticeably higher amount of slots for performance-enhancing parts, allowing players to specialize them for either role while keeping respectable performance in the other role. Combined with the mostly unpredictable variations in enemy targets in the missions and the fact that upgrading one Multirole is far cheaper than dumping cash on both a Fighter and an Attacker, it's no surprise that they're the most used aircraft type.
* ''VideoGame/AliensVsPredatorExtinction'' only has single player campaign, but that doesn't mean it's not susceptible to balance problems. Difficulty in order goes from Aliens (Pathetically easy), Marines (Somewhat easy), and Predators (NintendoHard), and for several reasons.
** Aliens are ridiculously powerful. They only have to spend points to create units once (assuming the Queen never needs to fight), and their unit cap is incredibly large (As expected from a race of zerg rushers). The fact that every unit only costs one supply only allows then to get even more numbers.
** The Aliens' weaknesses are two things. One, they lack ranged units. However, most of their units can easily close the gaps between units, and their only ranged unit is one of the most useful aliens in the game, the worker alien, solely because anyone they hit after upgraded will create more powerful aliens. Their second weakness is that if they don't win battles early on, they'll be pretty weak. This doesn't necessarily mean battles against the other factions. If they have easy access to scientists or, worse, respawnable critters, they will have no problems with creating a stupidly large army.
* In ''VideoGame/GuardiansOfMiddleEarth'', Agandaûr would fit the unbalanced skillset category. His ultimate ability is an enormous shockwave that can kill most enemy guardians in one hit in a game where most characters are meant to be able to throw all their skills at each other and still survive. This is supposed to be balanced by the fact that his other skills are weaker, his ultimate can be interrupted by crowd control effects, and Agandaûr has a poor health pool. However, if you can kill everyone near you extremely fast, it doesn't matter how poor your health is if everyone else is dead, and the fact that his other skills are weaker is offset by the fact that the shockwave has a cooldown of less than 30 seconds, making it regenerate faster than the respawn time.
* Ludia's video game adaptation of the GameShow ''Series/PressYourLuck'' often has the AI opponents answer even the most basic of questions (e.g. "How much is 6 times 4?") wrong so that they rarely have more spins than the actual player.
* In the UsefulNotes/BBCMicro game ''Ravenskull'', you can play as one of four characters, but there is no difference in gameplay. The PC remake gives each of the four a different power. However, the warrior's power (ravenbees drain health instead of killing you instantly) is very poorly balanced; you lose health for every ten squares travelled, and the levels are long enough that you never have much to spare. One hit from a ravenbee and you're probably doomed anyway.
* In ''Manga/SaintSeiya: Sanctuary Battle'', literally the only thing that defines how good or bad a character is is his projectile attack. During the stages with waves of soldiers, projectiles deal huge amounts of damage, hit enemies multiple times due to pushing them forward as the projectile moves on, and go through almost everything, destroying breakable objects and revealing items, killing entire squads with a single button press while the player is safe, so the player can clear missions and stages lightning fast taking low damage and dealing tons of punishment, making getting high ranks trivial. Bosses, in the other hand, have hyperguard active 90% of the time and more often than not their deadliest skills are the short-range ones or create minefields around themselves. Melee characters have to approach with caution while looking at the scarce moments they have their guard open, while anyone with a good projectile can keep away, wait for a opening, activate 7th Sense and fire off their energy beams for safe and powerful blows.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'' features a few examples, but none so extreme as the Tonkor. At release, the Tonkor was advertised as a weapon designed for grenade-jumping, a la the Demoman from ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''; previous explosive weapons had been tempered by the potential for users to kill themselves via splash damage, but in order to facilitate this unique mechanic, the developers capped the Tonkor's self-damage at a fixed 50 points (low enough to be negligible most of the time). In exchange, it came with low ammo reserves and a tiny magazine, even among its fellow launchers, and a relatively low reload speed punished missed shots; compared to its direct competitor, the Penta, it also suffered a small penalty to base damage and lost the ability to manually detonate its grenades. Unfortunately, the developers made two fatal miscalculations: the negligible self-damage made the weapon much safer in close quarters, which are vastly over-represented in the game's tilesets, and it featured very high crit stats, which let it deal 5.5 times its normal damage seven shots out of eight if properly modded. The end result? A devastating crowd-clearer with little-to-no skill required for use.
[[/folder]]



!!Other Examples:
[[folder:Card Games]]
* An example of a failed attempt of balance by rarity can be found in ''MagicTheGathering''. When the game was first released, it was known that cards such as Black Lotus, Ancestral Recall, Timetwister and the Moxes were game-breakingly powerful if present in sufficient quantities. However, they believed that since most players would only buy a starter deck and a couple of boosters, their power would never become an issue. This is especially evident when you look at the initial deck construction rules: 40-card minimum for decks, and no maximum for any individual cards. The deck of nothing but Black Lotus/Channel/Fireball was 100% legal, and that's not even the most powerful deck you could build. Constructed tournament later evolved to have a 60 card minimum limit and a maximum of 4 individual non-land cards, thus effectively removing the fake balance.
** Modern ''Magic The Gathering'' still has balance by rarity as a rarity level above rare, called mythic rare, was added in the Shards of Alara expansion. It should be noted that rarity balance exists in limited formats, such as booster draft and sealed deck, where certain powerful cards could easily help the player to win but they may well not get one of these cards, let alone multiple copies, but does not exist in constructed play where people will [[SeriousBusiness spend whatever it takes to win]].
*** In ''Magic'' limited formats, there is the ''BREAD'' principle, which describe what card to draft - Bombs, Removal, Evasion, Advantage and Dregs. While Removal, Evasion, Advantage and Dregs cards are available in every rarity, Bombs are usually in the rare slot. A deck with a good amount of bomb and removal cards usually has a considerable upper hand. Whether a player obtained those cards by luck or by skills is something that is often discussed in [=MTG=] boards. Large amounts of removal can make up for a lack of bombs by ensuring you can always get rid of whatever overpowering creature is thrown out by your opponent. The greatest of bombs tend to be cards which are immune to removal, either non-creatures which thus naturally evade anti-creature removal spells, creatures which are somehow immune to removal due to protection, shroud, regeneration, or similar effects, or bombs which act as removal themselves.
*** On occasion, some uncommons can be bombs as well, the most common example being spells which deal X damage to target creature or player, making them both removal and potentially capable of finishing off an opponent in the late game out of nowhere; Fireball is perhaps the most infamous such example, due to its ability to split up its damage, allowing it to act as mass removal as well.
** A cause of Situational Advantage also frequently arises. As cards "rotate" (new ones are printed, older made illegal in most common formats) for a good portion of environments, there will arise one or two "tier 1" decks that prompt development of counter-decks aimed to specifically hurt those dominants. Said rogue decks are less powerful overall, so any (semicompetent) deck but the dominant actually has a good chance against it - but will likely fall to the tier 1. The resulting rock-paper-scissors deck choice process is known as metagaming.
** The luck-based balance gets a bit worse when one considers cards like Enlightened Tutor, which lets you reshuffle your deck, with the artifact or enchantment of your choice on top. When you consider that many of the big game breakers are artifacts or enchantments, and Enlightened Tutor costs one white mana and can be played just before you draw, yeah. Enlightened Tutor, by the way, is legal in Legacy.
** Early [=MtG=] was characterized by overestimating the power of creatures. Because, naturally, you had to kill people with creatures, it was assumed they would be the dominant force in the card game. Because of this, creatures were relatively overcosted, meaning that in the earliest "fair" tournaments (that is, cards printed with "organized card game" as opposed to "limited product experiment" in mind), "control" decks, which featured heavy counter-spells and removal, all of which cost much less mana than the creatures they destroyed, dominated the game.
* The ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' card game is also famous for the same reason as ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' at game balance. Many of the most powerful cards were not only GameBreaker cards, they were considered "rare", with some others being “Secret rares” that would never ever be encountered by the average player. Now here's what creates the fake balance… after awhile, you could buy tins with most of those secret rare cards in there.
** Even later still, many of those cards will probably be found as Commons in preconstructed decks or compilation sets, thus devaluing the originals by several degrees. ''Anime/YuGiOh'' is not kind to the secondary market...
** Some of the original cards have been banned from tournaments such as Monster Reborn (which alternates being banned with Call of the Haunted for some bizarre reason), Witch of the Black Forest, Pot of Greed and Change of Heart because they lack a 'cost' for using them and can potentially help you get powerful monsters early on, making it seem like they are just creating a balance. However, most of the new powerful monsters have effects that either: prevent destruction; allow them to be brought back; or simply prevent them being targeted by spells, traps or effects while also having 2000 or higher ATTACK, making most stronger than the original strong monsters. Plus they are also easy to summon usually and very few of these monsters have damaging effects for the owner of the card. Also, if you do not have the specific type of deck with just the right countermeasures against the one you are facing, then you can be screwed from the very beginning of the duel.
** This trope might be one of the reasons why Apoqliphort Towers were banned. On paper, it's a card that requires three tributes and Qli monsters at that. Unfortunately, the Qli monsters prided themselves on swarming to get out the towers; and then when it came out, it was immune to everything and couldn't be destroyed by ANYTHING without a LEVEL OR RANK lower than it's level. The towers are level 10. There are hardly any level 10 or rank 10 monsters in the meta as is. There are hardly any level 10 boss monsters or rank 10 monsters that exist out of a deck specifically made to get them out. Basically, whenever this card came out; many decks were stuck in a deadlock and there was no answer made against it without a deck made to specifically counter it; so it was banned.
* In the ''StarWarsCustomizableCardGame'', (almost) all cards have a "Destiny" value in the top right corner. During just about any type of confrontation (aiming a weapon, resolving a battle, holding a lightsaber duel, attacking the Death Star's exhaust port), one or both players were allowed to draw the top card of their deck and add its Destiny value to whatever total they had previously. The rationale was to allow TheForce (read: luck) to affect the outcome, and since the Force is always with the underdog, common / weak cards always came with high Destiny values. Unfortunately, the strong cards were often ''so'' powerful that they were essentially immune to the effects ''of'' Destiny, so, in the end, it didn't work.
* ''VideoGame/{{Hearthstone}}'' isn't generally considered a "serious competitive" CCG, with the massive number of [[RandomNumberGod RNG]]-based effects making it clearly more of a "for fun" game, so people are generally more easy-going on its balance deficiencies. However, the developers have repeatedly shown that they have absolutely NO idea how to properly evaluate power when designing new cards. Probably the most infamous example came in the Grand Tournament expansion which featured two class 6-drop minions- the Paladin epic Mysterious Challenger and the Shaman legendary The Mistcaller. The former was something they thought might be kind of interesting (a 6/6 minion which, when played, searches your deck for a copy of every Secret in it and puts it into play automatically), while they assumed the latter (a 4/4 which, when played, gives a permanent +1/+1 bonus to ''every minion still in your hand and deck'') would be an extremely powerful and desirable card. Shortly after the expansion launched, the playerbase rapidly deduced that Mysterious Challenger was ''nauseatingly broken beyond measure'' (since in a Paladin deck using every Secret available to them -which are individually weak but, pivotally, ''extremely powerful when used in combination-'' it effectively let you draw up to five cards and play them all for ''free,'' giving it an effective value of nearly ''twenty mana'' when you added its 6/6 body) and it became the centerpiece of the most powerful deck in the game, while The Mistcaller was immediately derided as utterly worthless, so bad that merely playing it would effectively ''lose you the game immediately'' (since ''Hearthstone'' is incredibly tempo-based and playing a pathetic 4/4 which has NO immediate impact on the board on your 6th turn would put you so far behind that you were basically kneecapping yourself). The basic issue is that the developer seem incapable of grasping that THE most important aspects of a useful card are [[GiantMook cost-effectiveness]] and [[ZergRush tempo]]; ''everything'' else (especially the mythical "fun factor") is a secondary concern at ''best.'' Don't even ''ask'' about [[GameBreaker Dr. Boom]] aka. [[FanNickname "Dr. Balanced", "Dr. Broken", "Dr. 7-drop" etc etc]]...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' had LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards from the get go, resulting in exactly what would be expected - wizards being really tough to get up to a decent level, but if they survived (and in a party, they would survive, especially in later iterations like 3rd edition) they were just broken. This was not specific to wizards; all full casters tended to be because they had abilities which simply didn't care about how many hit points enemies had, and which enemies had no defenses against - indeed, some even worked against enemies immune to magic because they did not directly affect them, and such difficulties could often be circumvented anyway by simply focusing on buffing yourself to godlike capabilities. This was fixed in 4th edition by greatly restricting what magic users were capable of as well as expanding what other characters could do, resulting in complaints by players who completely missed the point - that if a character can do everything there's no need for an adventuring party, or other classes.
** 3.5 had this problem when they introduced a MagicKnight class, the Hexblade, and overestimated the usefulness of being able to cast spells in armor (there were already low-level spells which acted as superior substitutes to armor). As a result, the hexblade couldn't cast ''or'' fight [[MasterOfNone very well]]. The designers basically admitted that they'd messed up, and their next attempt at the archetype (the duskblade) was much more balanced ([[CharacterTiers A low tier 3]] with tier 1 and 2 belonging to classes considered to have GameBreaker stats). The opposite problem was the full caster classes, all of which completely shattered the game - most could turn themselves into better melee combatants than the actual melee combatant classes, and even worse, oftentimes that was pointless anyway because they could do even STRONGER things. High level full casters make the game utterly unplayable because they simply cannot be threatened effectively by anything which does not use similar tactics. This criticism of the game was termed as [[RocketTagGameplay "rocket tag", as in, whoever hit with their rocket first won]].
** D&D is absolutely FULL of these. Physical defense, Base Attack Bonus, Hit Point damage from any source being aimed at an enemy, feats, mundane skills and many others were also grossly overvalued by the developers, leading to the characters that rely on these things being [[LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards unable to contribute.]] [[http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=285984 One essay]] satirized the concept, postulating that, since classes with great but irrelevant chassis and lots of useless class features were generally pathetic, the [[JokeCharacter Commoner]], which has the worst chassis imaginable and no class features whatsoever, was the most powerful class in the game.
** This is not helped by D&D's spell list being filled with options that an experienced player will have notice work well, as opposed to things which sound awesome but really aren't that great in practice. At level 1, there's things like Color Spray and Entangle, spells which will remove groups of enemies from being able to contribute unless the enemy can succeed a difficult (for the level they're at) die roll. At level 5, you get such staples as Fireball and Lightning bolt. The problem is, Fireball is a much more effective spell than Lightning Bolt, because Fireball affects a 40-foot sphere and Lightning Bolt happens to go on a four-hundred foot straight line--cool, but enemies are more likely to take some sort of spread formation than single-file themselves. And this is just at the low levels. At high levels, you have Polar Ray (You get Fireball at level 5, it does damage to multiple targets. You get Polar Ray at level 15, it does ''slightly more'' damage to one target in less range and you have to hit the enemy to succeed) vs stuff like Plane Shift (normally used to move the party to one plane or another, including the various afterlives. A sub-use is to send an enemy to a plane of your choice. So you can literally ''send someone to Hell'' to remove them from combat). Ironically, the game works ''better' using the stronger effects, because monsters/other encounters tend to have them and if you tone down the casting classes, you'd better remember to tone down all many hundred of pages of monsters, too.
*** It's 3.0 trend to simplify everything, even when this is missing the point. To go with the same example, AD&D2 has Lightning Bolt slightly shaped and ''ricocheting'' from the walls while chipping them -- more useful than a Fireball unless in the open field, but tricky. In simplifying it to a straight line, it loses most of its utility, and is no longer as useful as Fireball.
*** Fake Balance exists in many cases because game designers could not predict the reliance on HouseRules, since so few people play D&D strictly by the rules-as-written. Things that are balanced for level 1-5 characters using the elite array of stats suddenly stop being balanced when you jump right to level 10 with much higher stats. Player characters are much more powerful when they can spend vast starting wealth on any magic item in the books than if they have to get by with whatever random junk they find.
** Wu Jens basically get free metamagic feats if their narrator plays them a certain way. (eg, unable to touch a dead body, cannot cut hair, cannot bathe...) However, some players often pick the taboos and set them to stuff the player or Wu Jen wouldn't even do in the ''first'' place!
*** This is basically a role-playing problem. The GM should step in and make it so that their taboos are more than free metamagic feats.
*** It also wasn't always understood that no, roleplaying constraints ''aren't'' automatically a good balancing factor for mechanical benefits. One example was AD&D 2nd Edition's Swashbuckler kit -- in order to compensate for some bonuses when fighting in light armor and extra access to nonweapon proficiencies, the DM was basically told to simply throw ''more trouble'' than their usual share the swashbuckler's way. So, not only would the character receive the kit benefits, they'd also get more time in the ''spotlight'' to help "balance" that...and chances were excellent that any "extra" trouble the swashbuckler ended up in would affect the rest of the party as well soon enough anyway.
** One of the early flubs was rarity based balance as a counter to the LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards phenomenon. Certainly a high level wizard is much more powerful than a similarly-leveled fighter, but wizards are easily killed at low levels. Consequently, many more fighters survive to reach high levels than wizards. This makes a certain amount of sense in terms of ''world'' balance, but for an adventuring party likely to contain ''one'' wizard and ''one'' fighter, it doesn't help very much.
*** Another, related, form of Fake Balance was race based class level limits. Only humans could advance any class to any level; all demihuman races were not only limited in what classes they could choose, but every class had a level cap. In many cases, a very low one, lower than level 10. In theory, this was meant to balance the racial abilities of the demihumans, who received extra powers like nightvision and bonuses to saving throws; in turn, humans received unlimited growth potential. The problem was that level caps are only a limit if anybody reaches the cap. If the campaign [[AbsurdlyHighLevelCap never gets high enough level for caps to matter]], then the caps don't balance anything. If a campaign does get that high of level, however, [[AbsurdlyLowLevelCap then the cap is crippling]]. Either way, nothing is balanced. And many [=DMs=] houseruled out level caps anyway, rendering the point moot.
*** And even within that, the designers vastly overvalued demihuman special abilities. Are they useful? Yes, every now and then, though in many cases (Detect Sloping Passages?) the DM has to deliberately construct the campaign to make them so. Are they worth being unable to advance past 9th level in a campaign that ''is'' going to reach that cap? Uh, NO!
** Another odd form of overestimating the skill of players is overestimating the skills of the GM. A good GM will vary his combat encounters enough that some "gamebreaking" builds will realize they're really just suffering CripplingOverspecialization and haven't been forced outside of the player's comfort zone. He'll also test the player characters out of combat, forcing them to rely on skills and knowledge. Varying encounters greatly is one of the best ways to fight spammed attacks and minmaxed builds by exploiting their lack of versatility. As long as the GameMaster is not a KillerGameMaster who makes their players suffer, it's a good cure for ComplacentGamingSyndrome. However, some [=GMs=] just aren't that good at it, resulting in greatly unbalanced games because the players have no incentive to find new tricks and just reuse the same builds and powers.
*** The other problem lies in the fact that someone who is cripplingly overspecialized may be completely worthless outside of said specialization, meaning that the player gets bored as they are unable to contribute when the one thing they can do stupidly well becomes useless. Indeed, monsters like this are a great example of fake balance, with the idea that making some characters useless periodically somehow makes things balanced being an obviously flawed one.
** There are many creatures which are designed to mess up non-casters, and there are some creatures (such as golems) which are designed to mess up casters. Unfortunately, casters are inherently better than non-casters, and flying creatures (which are quite common, and most casters can make themselves fly anyway) are very powerful against anyone without ranged attacks, which includes most non-casters (bows don't cut it, generally, unless you are a specialized bow user - in which case you have the weakness of "flying creatures can bypass my comrades and sit on top of me, rendering my bow useless"). The idea of many creatures with high spell resistance or outright immunity is to force casters to rely on their non-spell using compatriots. In reality, there are dozens of spells which allow them to bypass their foe's spell resistance and high saving throws entirely, such as spells that create barriers around them without actually affecting them directly (wall of stone gets bonus points for creating a permanent, nonmagical wall of stone, but wall of force and forcecage can create similar effects), a caster can polymorph themselves into some sort of dangerous monster to go eat their face or buff themselves to fight better than a fighter (and many such effects work better or exclusively on the caster themselves), they can collapse the ceiling or knock the floor out from under them, or fly into the air and shoot them from long range or simply bypass them entirely (many golems lack ranged attacks, can't fly, and have slow movement speeds), and do similar things. This is ignoring the fact that most of them take feats to better bypass spell resistance and to make it harder to save against their spells.
** EmptyLevels are a problem in basically every edition (except 4th, which gives everyone the same advancement for everything). LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards was in effect even in 1st Edition, where Fighters gained nothing from leveling besides incremental bonuses. One very common reaction to this in the 3.5 era was to give the character utility class features whenever it seemed like they wouldn't get anything from their core abilities. In theory, this meant that the character would always have something to look forward to. In practice, this left some classes laden with disparate and near-useless class features that were so minor and situational that they frequently forgot them. The Monk was the worst offender by far; sure, you get something every level, but when that something is a once-per-day fourth-level spell or a once-per-''week'' OneHitKill attack that [[UselessUsefulSpell usually misses,]] why bother? (Exemplified by one {{Narm}}-tastic [[http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/cwc/20061013a article]] on the Wizards of the Coast website, which claimed that "[[BlatantLies players always have something to look forward to with the Monk]]." On the other end of the power scale, the Sorcerer and Cleric get nothing for leveling up but advancement of their spells and familiar (for Sorcerer) and domains and TurnUndead (for Cleric). Since TurnUndead was [[GuideDangIt needlessly complex]], familiars were liabilities, and many domains didn't advance by levels, players would simply jump into a PrestigeClass that advanced casting and lose basically jack in the process. Some even used alternate class features that swapped out their familiar or Turn Undead, giving them literally no reason to ''not'' take a PrestigeClass. ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' did its level best to rectify this by nerfing spellcasting some, cutting down on full-casting prestige classes, buffing many formerly-useless abilities, and redesigning many classes so their abilities ''always'' advanced by level. Sadly, as the problem is built into the game, it didn't work, though it did boost the power of the weaker classes... though they were still useless compared to casters.
** Some {{Prestige Class}}es were PurposelyOverpowered, to accommodate for extremely difficult requirements. The intent would be to make these classes DifficultButAwesome, or limit them to NPC use. For the former, if your player has [[MagikarpPower jumped through all the hoops]] to qualify for Fochlucan Lyrist, they need the absurdly good bonuses just to catch up to everyone else; for the latter, it's not like any player would ''want'' to use a pus-spewing disease-ridden degenerate, right? Of course, a wily player could easily end up qualifying for these classes by simply thinking outside the box. For instance, the Hulking Hurler may be reserved for Large-sized characters, and Large races are typically too strong for players to use (the example build is a Stone Giant), but Half-Ogres are Large and have a Level Adjustment equal to Drow. By a similar token, the [[FlatEarthAtheist Ur-Priest]] requires an [[BadPowersBadPeople Evil]] [[CharacterAlignment alignment]], but there's nothing stopping players from simply being a TokenEvilTeammate, a NobleDemon, the caster of an all-Evil adventuring party, or even, arguably, taking just a few levels, going through CharacterDevelopment and [[HeelFaceTurn changing alignment]], and advancing their Ur-Priest casting through another class. Consequently, both the Hulking Hurler and the Ur-Priest are considered to be among the game's biggest {{Game Breaker}}s.
* Despite being designed with an eye for better balance, 4th Edition D&D hasn't entirely avoided this. Initially, many players did not understand how to play controller characters properly, and there were a large number of what amounted to fake choices in the original power set for the wizard, the first controller class. Controllers do exactly that, control the battlefield and debuff enemies, but many players picked area damage spells instead, which were terrible because the Wizard is not a damage-dealing class (and never really was, though many players played them as such - and the fact that they seemed powerful even then says something about how useful the casters truly were). [[strike:Bad]] Players used to the previous editions, where wizards were often played as ''damage-dealers'' rather than controllers, constantly [[strike:whined]] complained about wizards [[strike:being underpowered]] not being able to do what they ''used'' to be able to do in previous editions, while, ironically, they were actually one of the strongest classes, and acquired some game breaking abilities at higher levels which required errata. They later released the Sorcerer, who was a more conventional blaster-wizard designed to deal damage similar to the "throwing fireballs and lightning bolts" evoker that many players played previously.
** And that is why you should not play a wizard as a Nuker, but as a [[AnAdventurerIsYou Debuffer or Mezzer]]. Even from the first book, the wizard has huge area effects that cause a group of enemies to lose half their actions, or fling them halfway across the battlefield. In the hands of a beginner, the wizard is a sub-par damage dealer. In the [[DifficultButAwesome hands of a skilled player]], it will give your DM nightmares. Unfortunately, this is bad design; later controllers ditched most of the bad damage dealing spells to simply make sure you cannot accidentally make a useless character, instead replacing them with more control options.
** Other balance items that look good on paper but really don't work: Weapons with a higher accuracy are much, much better than weapons that lose accuracy for special properties, due to the way the game math works at higher levels. Because most powers only have an effect if they connect, hitting is much more important than some incidental rider ability on the strike, and yet weapons got balanced between those that had extra accuracy and those that didn't but had other effects. This is less of an issue for fighters, who have powers which make some of the less accurate weapons much stronger (hammers are amongst the best fighter weapons, despite their slightly lower accuracy, for this very reason), but for every other class...
** On the DM's side come Solo monsters. Solo Monsters are supposed to represent the same challenge to a group of adventurers that 5 normal monsters do, usually by having higher defenses and four times the normal monster hit points. This didn't work. Solo monsters were derided as boring grindfests. The problems boiled down to the fact that Solo monsters had too many hit points and too few actions - a solo monster could easily be locked down by status effects and didn't have the number of actions a full crew of monsters did, but they were too tough to be taken down in a reasonable amount of time. New versions of solo monsters have more actions (up to and including extra whole turns), more resistances to status effects, slower defenses and hit points (still high, but lower than before) and more "state-changing" abilities. Still, the best use of a "[[ArtifactTitle Solo]]" monster is [[FlunkyBoss paired with a few other normal monsters]].
** For those non-players: Orbizards (or Orb Wizards) are Wizards that get a special ability as long as they wield an orb as an implement - as opposed to those who wield a staff, a wand and so on. These also get special abilities, but they weren't nearly as powerful. Orbizards could once per encounter debuff a monster's saving throw against an effect the wizard cast. To succeed on a saving throw, you have to get a 10 or higher on a d20 roll. Solo monsters get a +5 to saving throws, which means they can succeed on a 5 or higher. But the orbizard could - if he took the right items, skills and feats - debuff a monster's save by -17! So you cast "Sleep" or any spell that makes the monster unconscious and needs a save to be ended onto the enemy, couple that with your -17 to saves, and even the highest level monster in the game would need to roll a 22 to succeed. [[ImpossibleTask On a d20.]] This could trivialize entire encounters, and was too powerful. They errataed it out, along with most other saving throw penalties which lasted longer than a round.
* TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} and TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} both suffer from this disease due to all of the reasons above, but also because some codices or army books aren't updated in years. In theory, powerful units are balanced by costing more points than weaker CannonFodder, but due to a gradual PowerCreepPowerSeep, armies that don't have recent updates tend to find themselves simply out-classed by competitors which have new rules written. It can be downright maddening, such as when an army finds itself losing a special advantage because it is incompatible with the current rules. Armies also have had "legacy" rules which interact with the game's current rules to create an {{Unwinnable}} situation. The solution seems to be to give everyone occasional moments in the sun. It just may take twelve to thirteen years for some armies.
** Sometimes provoked intentionally in order to boost the sales of a flagging army. "HA! Imperial Guardsmen have flashbulb guns and die when breathed on!". Cue new codex. "Guardsmen are cheaper, can shoot rapidfire in ranks if they're under half range and don't move and they have better AP? Which way to the Cadia box?"
** This is the current problem with the Daemonhunters, specifically the Grey Knights. Even the book itself acknowledges that the Knights are not meant to be used as a stand-alone army, however with the GW policy of "no allies" (reversed as of 2012), that was the only way to field the Knights. In addition, since the change in rules of how to play Daemons (they no longer suffered instability, reversed as of 2013) the Grey Knights are effectively paying extra points for abilities that can never be used (to balance out this advantage in previous editions, Daemons gain Sustained Attack, meaning that any destroyed daemons automatically return back onto the table free of charge. However that rule ''is'' still in use).
*** Then the Grey Knights got a new Codex, and became an army of MarySue {{Game Breaker}}s. Cue BrokenBase.
* In addition to the above, ''[[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Warhammer 40k]]'' has done pretty much every example on this list.
** Skill Underestimated: 5th edition Outflanking. Essentially, this allows you to deploy a unit by walking on from a board edge, usually allowing a brutal assault onto anything near that edge. Since you have a 2/3 shot of deploying along the side you want (1/3 of getting the flank you want, 1/3 of getting the flank you don't want, 1/3 of being able to choose which flank you want to deploy on), it's not exactly unreliable. What's more: any unit with the incredibly-common Scouts or Infiltrate special rules can use Outflank deployment. Cue the demise of any army with a CripplingOverspecialization in shooting. (So long as said army doesn't deploy vehicles en masse, which are far less vulnerable to close combat so long as they move at least 6" every turn.) Lash of Submission also deserves honorable mention, as [[WordOfGod Games Workshop themselves]] reportedly remarked how they didn't think anybody would use it in great ways when they wrote and tested it.
** Skill Overestimated: Tyranid Pyrovores. Aside from their [[CanonDefilement perversion of the Tyranid fluff]] [[note]]Tyranids, being Extreme Omnivores, literally strip entire worlds of their biomatter. It's why they are a threat. The problem is they can't eat something that gets incinerated. So, of course, Pyrovores have flamethrowers, something that suggests poor evolution, but also a design that could not be called "intelligent" by any means, either[[/note]], the Pyrovore has so many caveats on its not-that-good ability that the unit itself becomes veritably worthless. Essentially, a Pyrovore must suffer [[OneHitKill Instant Death]], roll a 4+ on a six-sided die, and then it will radiate a Strength 3 hit to all models, friend or foe, within about 2.5".
** Unbalanced Army List: Though they possess a number of average units (Havocs, Raptors, Chaos Lords), nothing compels a Chaos Space Marines player to use these mediocre units any more than absolutely necessary, instead of just taking the best stuff possible (Berserkers, Plague Marines, Daemon Princes). The Warp Talons and Mutilators are incredibly inefficient at what they're designed for (units can't assault after Deep Striking), while Heldrakes are the Flying Chaos Turkeys of Flaming Death (until the Seventh Edition FAQ changed its weapon from a turret to a fixed firing arc).
** Luck-Based Balance: Chaos Daemons, whose [[PlanetOfHats racial hat]] is ConfusionFu. Every model has a fairly bad invulnerable save that is generally inferior to most other armor types, but they tend to not have many good saves at all. Roll well and you will shrug off tons of firepower. Roll poorly (and more often than not, you ''will'' roll poorly), and you'll take a ton of casualties every time an enemy unit shoots at one of yours, and you have next to no shooting of your own, meaning you're pretty much helpless in the shooting phase. And believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg. You literally cannot guarantee that any particular unit will start the game on the table, assuming nobody dies in a Deep Strike mishap. Chaos Daemons were designed to be super-powerful yet balanced by their ability to fail at unpredictable intervals. In practice, they're basically a catastrophic failure waiting to happen.
*** Luck-Based Balance used to be the shtick of the Orcs in earlier editions, where many of their most powerful weapons had random range, strength, or effect radius.
*** Sixth Edition removed some randomness for Daemons (they no longer deploy randomly and have ways to increase their saves if you study the book properly) and threw more randomness into the mix for ''everyone'': warlord traits, psychic powers, and mysterious terrain effects are rolled from tables.
** Rarity based balance: More representative as a price-based balance. If you can't afford Forge World's "An'ggrath the Unbound," you're not going to field one, simple as that. Also represented by 0-1 units (now called Unique Units), which can only be used a maximum of once, no matter the size of your force. These limits are usually relegated to special characters, who have various abilities that occasionally [[GameBreaker toe the lines of game balance]].
** Unfair / Situational Advantage: Jaws of the World Wolf is possibly the most UselessUsefulSpell in the game. It requires purchasing a very expensive yet easily-killable model. It can't target vehicles. It can be blocked or made more difficult to cast. It's incredibly unlikely to kill any individual model. A clever opponent can minimize its effect by spacing out. And it can ''instantly kill any model that fails an Initiative test''. It also lets you effectively pick which model(s) you want to target, something usually not permitted barring exceptionally rare special abilities. And to make it worse, no saving throws are allowed to any model that is consumed, trumping armor saves, invulnerable saves, cover saves, and even special rules that prevent the model from being instantly killed, which makes Jaws (potentially) into 40k's InfinityPlusOneSword. Because Jaws is less useful against higher-initiative models, there's almost a sense in which every unit in the game is judged by whether or not it can easily be killed by Jaws. Woe betide any unit / army if it's a MightyGlacier with no anti-psyker support (like Ork HQ units).
*** Grey Knights are a hard counter to Chaos Daemons. If you play Daemons and your opponent shows up with Grey Knights, concede right away.
** Relies on Stalemating / Winning: It is incredibly easy to play for a draw. One of the most blatant offenders is the [[FunWithAcronyms DAVU]] setup for the Eldar. DAVU essentially takes the least expensive Troops unit purchasable (5 '''D'''ire '''A'''vengers) and puts them inside a fast transport vehicle (like a '''V'''ehicle '''U'''pgrade) to allow the vehicle to capture objectives quickly at the end of the game. The way to beat that is to basically outclass these expensive and not terribly numerous vehicles.
[[/folder]]
10th Mar '17 1:34:15 PM justanid
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* '''Skill underestimated[=/=]overestimated''': Probably the main cause of Fake Balance in fighting games is when the game designers underestimate or overestimate a skill's usefulness in the hands of a capable player. Underestimating a skill may cause the character's weakness to be ignored; for example, a 99% evasion rate could make a FragileSpeedster functionally just as NighInvulnerable as a StoneWall, but also faster to get into attack position and without the penalty to offense. Overestimating a skill may cause the character to become an unintentional JokeCharacter.
* '''Skill-based advantage''': One thing is simply better than another, but requires a lot more skill to use properly. As skilled players by definition are good at the game, the better ability, character, weapon, or whatever is simply always used by good players, and the lesser thing is never used. Often leads to SkillGateCharacters, an artificially steep learning curve (as anyone who has mastered the advanced technique crushes anyone who has not), or an extreme jump in power level once a player masters some aspect of the game.
* '''Unbalanced skillset''': [[GamblersFallacy If a character has a move set with a few overly powerful moves, the counterbalance to this may be to have several moves be near-useless]]. But the existence of bad moves does nothing to reduce the effectiveness of the good ones. A skilled player is likely to [[GameplayDerailment exploit the good moves while ignoring the useless ones]], often taking away from the variety of the game.

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* '''Skill underestimated[=/=]overestimated''': Probably the main '''An underestimated[=/=]overestimated ability''': A major cause of Fake Balance in fighting games {{fighting games}} is when the game designers underestimate or overestimate a skill's inaccurately guage an ability's usefulness in relative to the hands rest of a capable player. Underestimating a skill the game. Underestimation may cause the a character's weakness to be ignored; for example, a 99% evasion rate could make a FragileSpeedster functionally just as NighInvulnerable as a StoneWall, but also faster to get into an attack position and without the penalty to offense. Overestimating a skill an ability may cause the a character to become an unintentional JokeCharacter.
JokeCharacter, like when an attack move is only noticed for the high amount of damage it can do in one hit, while ignoring that it can be easily dodged.
* '''Skill-based advantage''': One thing is simply better than another, but requires Something that becomes unbalanced only in the hands of a lot more skill to use properly. As skilled players by definition are good at the game, the better ability, character, weapon, or whatever is simply always used by good player. Other players, and the lesser thing is never used. Often leads especially those with a physical disability, can effectively be prevented from winning in a competitive environment; being limited to SkillGateCharacters, an artificially steep learning curve (as anyone who has mastered the advanced technique crushes anyone who has not), SkillGateCharacters or an extreme jump in power level once by inferior equipment that lies behind a player masters skill-based {{minigame}}. Worse yet, some aspect of linear games can become {{unwinnable}} or limited to a [[MultipleEndings bad ending]], due to the game.
skill requirement being set too high.
* '''Unbalanced skillset''': move-set''': [[GamblersFallacy If a character has a move set with a few overly powerful moves, the counterbalance to this may be to have several moves be near-useless]]. near-useless.]] But the existence of bad moves does nothing to reduce the effectiveness of the good ones. A skilled player is likely to [[GameplayDerailment exploit the good moves while ignoring the useless ones]], often taking away from the variety of the game.



* '''Unfair/situational advantage''': When a character/deck (A) has an almost unwinnable advantage over certain type of character/deck (B), but is too weak against other characters/decks (C). On the statistic sheet, A might have a balanced winrate, B might have a below average winrate and C might have an above average winrate. But Deck A isn't balanced and C might not be better than B. This results in a practice known as "counter-picking", where a player makes their choice based on the other player's choice. This naturally leads to all players hiding their choices and making the game feel like an elaborate version of RockPaperScissors played before instead of whatever actual gameplay was intended, determining the outcome of the game before it starts.
* '''Relies on stalemating/winning''': These characters have over-the-top strengths when they're on balance or winning, but if they're knocked off balance or simply not allowed to get the advantage, their weaknesses actually come into play big time. However, getting the former off balance is tricky business to begin with, and the latter only has to be stalemated. The only conceivable reason why these characters could be considered "balanced" is because humans can make mistakes too.
* '''Balance-wrecking items''': Here a good job is done of balancing characters but this work is then undone by having items that negate some weaknesses but not others. For example a character might be physically weak but have a special talent; if every shop on the planet sells strength boosting trinkets that weakness isn't going to be much of a handicap for long.

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* '''Unfair/situational '''Situational advantage''': When a character/deck (A) has an almost unwinnable advantage over certain type of character/deck (B), but is too weak against other characters/decks (C). On the statistic sheet, A might have a balanced winrate, B might have a below average winrate and C might have an above average winrate. But Deck A isn't balanced and C might not be better than B. This results in a practice known as "counter-picking", where a player makes their choice based on the other player's choice. This naturally leads to all players hiding their choices and making the game feel like an elaborate version of RockPaperScissors played before instead of whatever actual gameplay was intended, determining the outcome of the game before it starts.
* '''Relies on stalemating/winning''': '''Fragile advantage''': These characters have over-the-top strengths when they're on balance or winning, going strong, but if they're knocked off balance or simply not allowed prevented from gaining an advantage to get the advantage, begin with, their weaknesses actually come into play big time. However, getting the former off balance is tricky business to begin with, and the latter only has to be stalemated. The only conceivable reason why some of these characters could can be considered "balanced" is because humans inevitably make mistakes. This is most common in {{racing game}}s, where players or AI can make mistakes too.
a mistake that causes them to loose, no matter how fast their vehicle.
* '''Balance-wrecking items''': Here a good job is done of balancing characters but this work is then undone by having items that negate some weaknesses but not others. For example a character might be physically weak but have a special talent; if every shop on the planet sells strength boosting trinkets that weakness isn't going to be much of a handicap for long. This is especially common as a result of PowerCreep, when the original game's items were balanced, but new ones aren't.



* '''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e31OSVZF77w Perfect imbalance]]''': A gameplay "balancing" technique that can be best described as having a tiny but ''intentional'' imbalance carefully calculated so that the community will favor one particular strategy, but not too extreme so as to negate everything else. Then, on the next patch, the developer tilts the balance towards another different kind of strategy. The result is an always changing {{metagame}} that prevents the game from getting old and also prevents the formation of ComplacentGamingSyndrome.

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* '''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e31OSVZF77w Perfect imbalance]]''': '''Perfect imbalance''': A gameplay "balancing" technique that can be best described as having a tiny but ''intentional'' imbalance carefully calculated so that the community will favor one particular strategy, but not too extreme so as to negate everything else. Then, on the next patch, the developer tilts the balance towards another different kind of strategy. The result is an always changing {{metagame}} that prevents the game from getting old and also prevents the formation of ComplacentGamingSyndrome.
ComplacentGamingSyndrome. More info in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e31OSVZF77w this video]] from ''WebVideo/ExtraCredits''.
11th Feb '17 11:33:04 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''PuzzlePirates'' implemented possibly the most bizarre piece of "balancing" in the history of computer games. Apparently players used an [[strike:obvious and ubiquitous strategy of armed convoys for transport]] unfair "double floating" exploit all the time, so it was fixed. Enter the GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere to catch all giant fleas from nowhere: [[http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Monkey_boat monkey boat]]. It also broke [=PvP=] since these wonder monkeys shoved a ship aside every time its opponent has as much as ''one pineapple'' on board (see the link). Of course.
* While ''LaTale'' tries to avert from this with its [=PvP=], it fails often usually because the creators ''just dont care''.At first, gunslingers were just your ''fragile speedsters'' the use of super puzzles quickly made them able to outdo pretty much every class except Guardians. but since every class can do this if the have the time and money to do so, its really a case of ''everybody's cheap''

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* ''PuzzlePirates'' ''VideoGame/PuzzlePirates'' implemented possibly the most bizarre piece of "balancing" in the history of computer games. Apparently players used an [[strike:obvious and ubiquitous strategy of armed convoys for transport]] unfair "double floating" exploit all the time, so it was fixed. Enter the GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere to catch all giant fleas from nowhere: [[http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Monkey_boat monkey boat]]. It also broke [=PvP=] since these wonder monkeys shoved a ship aside every time its opponent has as much as ''one pineapple'' on board (see the link). Of course.
* While ''LaTale'' ''VideoGame/LaTale'' tries to avert from this with its [=PvP=], it fails often usually because the creators ''just dont care''.At first, gunslingers were just your ''fragile speedsters'' the use of super puzzles quickly made them able to outdo pretty much every class except Guardians. but since every class can do this if the have the time and money to do so, its really a case of ''everybody's cheap''
26th Jan '17 3:47:09 PM BrendanRizzo
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Added DiffLines:

** In addition, the Fire-type was rendered completely redundant by Ice, of all types, in Generation I, because except for Ice itself (which was practically moot as all but two Ice-types were part Water, and these two had other, physical, weaknesses) and the never-used Bug, every type that Fire was strong against was also weak to Ice, Ice attacks were strong against some types that Fire was not, including one (Ground) that is strong against Fire, and another (Dragon) which resists its attacks. (The Steel-type had yet to exist.) The Fire-type itself did not resist Ice-type attacks until the following generation, and Ice-type moves were much more common than their Fire-type counterparts anyway, because Ice Beam and Blizzard were both [=TMs=] that could be learned by practically any Special-based attacker, while Flamethrower[[note]]which wasn't even a TM[[/note]] and Fire Blast could only be learned by Pokémon of their own type, with very rare exceptions. If that were not enough, the Freeze [[StandardStatusEffects status ailment]] was [[GameBreaker completely broken]] in Generation I, as it prevented all attacks, and would ''never'' heal in-battle unless the opponent was [[WhoWouldBeStupidEnough stupid enough]] to attack the frozen Pokémon with a Fire-type move, or use [[UselessUsefulSpell Haze]]. Burn, on the other hand, did nothing but take off 1/16 of the enemy's health each turn, which is negligible. (Later generations would at least fix this by halving the Attack of a burned Pokémon, and giving all frozen Pokémon a chance to thaw each turn.) This meant that using a Fire-type would do nothing but take up a valuable party slot. The changes from Generation II onwards, despite being intended to balance the Psychic-type, actually did more to {{Nerf}} the Ice-type than any other. (See below.)
2nd Jan '17 7:39:16 PM Kadorhal
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* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil1'' you can pick between Chris and Jill. Jill can pick locks, carry 8 items, can get the Grenade Launcher right at the beginning of the game (Which is a DiskOneNuke), and has Barry at her back who on several occasions gives her extra ammo and even gives her earlier access to the shotgun. Chris gets the useless [[VideoGameFlameThrowersSuck flamethrower]] ''late'' in the game, carries only 6 items, must find keys to open doors, and has to babysit the rookie Rebecca, but takes about twice as many hits to kill to balance it out. However, since Jill can pick locks and carry more items, it means far less traveling around and far less encountering enemies, and her handy dandy grenade launcher can take out the tough ones. This was justified in the Japanese version of the original, where the character select screen was also the difficulty selection screen, with Chris's story being "Hard mode".
** Subverted in the Remake, though. Chris now handles weapons much better (he shoots faster and has a far higher chance of a [[OneHitKill headshot]], which saves ammo), and has a flash grenade for a secondary weapon which explodes heads. That durability also comes into much better effect as the enemies do hit harder (or Jill got that much weaker). The Grenade Launcher has been considerably nerfed (unless you count the infinite ammo glitch for it), and the immolation mechanic to keep zombies from respawning as more dangerous Crimson Heads takes away Jill's two other item slots anyway (Chris can do it with just his lighter, which doesn't take up a slot).
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' flipped the genders, with Claire being near ''useless'' compared to Leon. Leon gets a ''vastly'' superior load-out: his starting handgun is better than Claire's, he gets access to a magnum and a shotgun, all three of those weapons can be upgraded, and he takes far less damage. Claire can pick locks, but there are only three locks in the entire game that can be opened this way (two in the police station and one in the sewers on the B scenario), and although she gets the superior grenade launcher and the LethalJokeWeapon Spark Shot, she is still outclassed in pretty much every aspect. At least it's justified, with Leon being a prodigy cop and Claire simply being a university student, but despite this most players pick Claire for the first playthrough anyway simply because [[WrongGenreSavvy they remember the last game]]. In fact, so many fans insist on playing Claire's story first that [[AscendedFanon the official canon events of the game are Claire A Leon B]].

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* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil1'' you can pick between Chris and Jill. Jill can pick locks, carry 8 items, can get the Grenade Launcher right at the beginning of the game (Which (which is a DiskOneNuke), and has Barry at her back who on several occasions gives her extra ammo and even gives her earlier access to the shotgun.shotgun by breaking her out of the trap Chris has to circumvent himself. Chris gets the useless [[VideoGameFlameThrowersSuck flamethrower]] ''late'' in the game, carries only 6 items, must find keys to open doors, and has to babysit the rookie Rebecca, but takes about twice as many hits to kill to balance it out. However, since Jill can pick locks and carry more items, it means far less traveling around backtracking and far less encountering enemies, and her handy dandy grenade launcher can take out the tough ones. This was justified in the Japanese version of the original, where the character select screen was also the difficulty selection screen, with Chris's story being "Hard mode".
** Subverted in the Remake, though. Chris now handles weapons much better (he shoots faster and has a far higher chance of a [[OneHitKill headshot]], which saves ammo), and has a flash grenade for a secondary weapon which explodes heads. That durability also comes into much better effect as the enemies do hit harder (or Jill got that much weaker). The Grenade Launcher has been considerably nerfed (unless you count the infinite ammo glitch for it), and the immolation mechanic to keep zombies from respawning coming back as more dangerous Crimson Heads takes away Jill's two other item slots anyway (Chris can do it with just his lighter, which doesn't take up a slot).
gets its own slot as his personal item).
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' flipped the genders, with Claire being near ''useless'' compared to Leon. On top of taking far less damage, Leon gets a ''vastly'' superior load-out: his starting handgun is better than Claire's, he gets access to a magnum and a shotgun, and all three of those weapons can be upgraded, and he takes far less damage.upgraded. Claire can pick locks, but there are only three locks in the entire game that can be opened this way (two in the police station and one in the sewers on the B scenario), and although she gets the superior grenade launcher and the LethalJokeWeapon Spark Shot, she is still outclassed in pretty much every aspect. At least it's justified, with Leon being a prodigy cop and Claire simply being a university student, but despite this most players pick Claire for the first playthrough anyway simply because [[WrongGenreSavvy they remember the last game]]. In fact, so many fans insist on playing Claire's story first that [[AscendedFanon the official canon events of the game are Claire A Leon B]].
2nd Jan '17 7:26:19 PM Kadorhal
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** On a more general note, the classes themselves. Pyro is a good example. On paper, the Pyro is a LightningBruiser with a passive damage ability, balanced by a lack of effective range. In practice, the Pyro is weaker than most offensive classes even in that range, and the Pyro's passive damage is very easily countered. [[note]]Fire used to be a reliable way to kill someone, but it seems like every update another counter to fire is introduced. At first, only medkits, water, Medics, and Dispensers could put out fire. Now take that, and add on Jarate; the airblast; Bonk! Atomic Punch (temporarily negates the fire's effect), Mad Milk; the Demo's immunity to fire and 50% resistance to direct fire damage from the Chargin' Targe; and the Spycicle, which puts out fire and gives several seconds of complete fire immunity.[[/note]]
** A less noticeable example would be some of the unlockable melee weapons compared to their default counterparts, specifically for the Pyro's Fire Axe, Heavy's Fist, and Soldier's Shovel. The unlockable weapons generally are better in specific circumstances and worse in others (Axtinguisher does huge damage against burning enemies and less against others, [[DesperationAttack the Equalizer does less damage at high health and more at low health]]), or grant special abilities at the cost of making them less effective as weapons (the G.R.U. lets the Heavy run faster while increases damage he takes, but do less damage). The catch is that default weapons for those classes are almost ''entirely useless'' in the first place even as {{Emergency Weapon}}s (the Rocket Launcher reloads as fast as a melee weapon can be swung, while the Minigun and Flamethrower only need to reload when entirely out of ammo, which rarely happens), so there's nowhere to go but up most of the time.
*** The Medic's Bonesaw and Pyro's Fire Axe were/are in the uniquely awful position of being obsoleted by direct upgrades (the Solemn Vow and Third Degree, which respectively let you see enemy health and damage whoever your target is healing or being healed by). However, the Solemn Vow has since been nerfed (given a slightly slower swing-speed with the Gun Mettle update) and the Third Degree is only a minor upgrade to the Fire Axe.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRenegade'' was balanced in that GDI and Nod each had an approximately equal chance of winning a given match. Other than that, you had infantry which were only worth a damn fighting other infantry, matches that devolved into neverending reverse tug-of-war tank battles due to the repair mechanics, {{hitscan}} snipers who could kill with 1-3 bodyshots, and so on. This balance failure ironically makes it possibly the most faithful FPS conversions of an RTS game ever, as ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' has always been about tank rushes.
* ''VideoGame/CounterStrike'' gives us the AWP. It's theoretically balanced because it's a bolt action sniper rifle (thus fairly slow-firing) that fires a big bullet. It isn't balanced ''at all'' because a shot to anywhere but the legs can and ''will'' kill the target, so the reload doesn't matter unless you're outnumbered, and switching to another weapon then back to the AWP increases the reload animation rate in every game prior to ''Global Offensive''; as a result, the primary disadvantages are its poor field of view and its poor movement speed. The automatic sniper rifles - the [[AKA47 D3 and Kreig 550]] - do considerably less damage, but fire fast enough to be fairly usable as assault rifles, and generally kill in two hits.

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** On a more general note, the classes themselves. Pyro is a good example. On paper, the Pyro is a LightningBruiser with a passive damage ability, balanced by a lack of effective range. In practice, the Pyro is weaker than most offensive classes even in that range, and the Pyro's passive damage is very easily countered. [[note]]Fire used to be a reliable way to kill someone, but it seems like every update another counter to fire is introduced. At first, only medkits, water, water (which not every map has), Medics, and the Engineer's Dispensers could put out fire. Now take that, and add on the Sniper's Jarate; the Pyro's own airblast; the Scout's Bonk! Atomic Punch (temporarily negates the fire's effect), effect) and Mad Milk; the Demo's immunity to fire and 50% resistance to direct fire damage from the Chargin' Targe; and the Spy's Spycicle, which puts out fire and gives several seconds of complete fire immunity.[[/note]]
** A less noticeable example would be some of the unlockable melee weapons compared to their default counterparts, specifically for the Pyro's Fire Axe, Heavy's Fist, and Soldier's Shovel. The unlockable weapons generally are better in specific circumstances and worse in others (Axtinguisher does huge damage against burning enemies and less against others, [[DesperationAttack the Equalizer does less damage at high health and more at low health]]), or grant special abilities at the cost of making them less effective as weapons (the G.R.U. lets deals less damage and makes the Heavy take more damage, but lets him run faster while increases damage he takes, but do less damage). faster). The catch is that default weapons for those classes are almost ''entirely useless'' in the first place place, even as {{Emergency Weapon}}s (the Rocket Launcher reloads as fast as a melee weapon can be swung, while the Minigun and Flamethrower only need to reload when entirely out of ammo, which rarely happens), so there's nowhere to go but up most of the time.
*** The Medic's Bonesaw and Pyro's Fire Axe were/are were and are in the uniquely awful position of being obsoleted by direct upgrades (the Solemn Vow and Third Degree, which respectively let you see enemy health and damage whoever your target is healing or being healed by). However, the Solemn Vow has since been nerfed (given a slightly slower swing-speed with the Gun Mettle update) and the Third Degree is only a minor upgrade to the Fire Axe.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRenegade'' was balanced in that GDI and Nod each had an approximately equal chance of winning a given match. Other than that, you had infantry which were only worth a damn fighting other infantry, matches that devolved into neverending reverse tug-of-war tank battles due to the repair mechanics, {{hitscan}} snipers who could kill with 1-3 bodyshots, and so on. This balance failure ironically makes it possibly the most faithful FPS conversions conversion of an RTS game ever, as ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' has always been about tank rushes.
* ''VideoGame/CounterStrike'' gives us the AWP. It's theoretically balanced because it's a bolt action sniper rifle (thus fairly slow-firing) that fires a big bullet. It isn't balanced ''at all'' because a shot to anywhere but the legs can and ''will'' kill the target, so the reload doesn't matter unless you're outnumbered, and switching to another weapon then back to the AWP increases the reload animation rate in every game prior to ''Global Offensive''; as a result, the primary disadvantages are its poor field of view and its poor movement speed. The automatic sniper rifles - the [[AKA47 D3 and Kreig 550]] - do considerably less damage, but fire fast enough to be fairly usable as assault rifles, and generally kill in two hits.hits; most people's reaction to getting killed with one will be to buy one of their own, quickly resulting in the entire server using nothing but them.
23rd Dec '16 7:35:33 PM Heartlesswithaheart
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** Gen VII has Pheromosa, who falls under "Unbalanced Skillset." Its movepool is ''incredibly'' barren, with it having only five or six viable moves, making it effectively a one-trick pony. It's also atrocious in terms of bulk, with its HP and defensive stats being around the level of the biggest GlassCannon in the series. However, its tiny movepool also gives it just enough room to not be 100% predictable, and its offensive stats are ''massive'', allowing it to easily outspeed and OHKO anything that isn't boosted, and even some things that are! Game Freak also cut down on the effectiveness of priority, so something that would "only" allow it to be very threatening doesn't do much to it. Lastly, its ability is designed to snowball after it gets [=KOs=], meaning that depending on the set, things that could've taken an attack before will no longer be able to, or things that would've been able to revenge kill it are no longer fast enough.
17th Oct '16 5:58:53 PM NoSpoilerz
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** EmptyLevels are a problem in basically every edition (except 4th, which gives everyone the same advancement for everything). LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards was in effect even in 1st Edition, where Fighters gained nothing from leveling besides incremental bonuses. One common common designer fix in the 3.5 era was to give the character utility class features whenever it seemed like they wouldn't get anything from their core abilities. In theory, this meant that the character would always have something to look forward to. In practice, this left some classes laden with disparate and near-useless class features that were so minor and situational that they frequently forgot them. The Monk was the worst offender by far; sure, you get something every level, but when that something is a once-per-day fourth-level spell or a once-per-''week'' OneHitKill attack that [[UselessUsefulSpell usually misses,]] why bother? (Exemplified by one {{Narm}}-tastic [[http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/cwc/20061013a article]] on the Wizards of the Coast website, which claimed that "[[BlatantLies players always have something to look forward to with the Monk]]." On the other end of the power scale, the Sorcerer and Cleric get nothing for leveling up but advancement of their spells and familiar (for Sorcerer) and domains and TurnUndead (for Cleric). Since TurnUndead was [[GuideDangIt needlessly complex]], familiars were liabilities, and many domains didn't advance by levels, players would simply jump into a PrestigeClass that advanced casting and lose basically jack in the process. Some even used alternate class features that swapped out their familiar or Turn Undead, giving them literally no reason to ''not'' take a PrestigeClass. ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' did its level best to rectify this by nerfing spellcasting some, cutting down on full-casting prestige classes, buffing many formerly-useless abilities, and redesigning many classes so their abilities ''always'' advanced by level. Sadly, as the problem is built into the game, it didn't work, though it did boost the power of the weaker classes... though they were still useless compared to casters.

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** EmptyLevels are a problem in basically every edition (except 4th, which gives everyone the same advancement for everything). LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards was in effect even in 1st Edition, where Fighters gained nothing from leveling besides incremental bonuses. One very common common designer fix reaction to this in the 3.5 era was to give the character utility class features whenever it seemed like they wouldn't get anything from their core abilities. In theory, this meant that the character would always have something to look forward to. In practice, this left some classes laden with disparate and near-useless class features that were so minor and situational that they frequently forgot them. The Monk was the worst offender by far; sure, you get something every level, but when that something is a once-per-day fourth-level spell or a once-per-''week'' OneHitKill attack that [[UselessUsefulSpell usually misses,]] why bother? (Exemplified by one {{Narm}}-tastic [[http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/cwc/20061013a article]] on the Wizards of the Coast website, which claimed that "[[BlatantLies players always have something to look forward to with the Monk]]." On the other end of the power scale, the Sorcerer and Cleric get nothing for leveling up but advancement of their spells and familiar (for Sorcerer) and domains and TurnUndead (for Cleric). Since TurnUndead was [[GuideDangIt needlessly complex]], familiars were liabilities, and many domains didn't advance by levels, players would simply jump into a PrestigeClass that advanced casting and lose basically jack in the process. Some even used alternate class features that swapped out their familiar or Turn Undead, giving them literally no reason to ''not'' take a PrestigeClass. ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' did its level best to rectify this by nerfing spellcasting some, cutting down on full-casting prestige classes, buffing many formerly-useless abilities, and redesigning many classes so their abilities ''always'' advanced by level. Sadly, as the problem is built into the game, it didn't work, though it did boost the power of the weaker classes... though they were still useless compared to casters.
28th Sep '16 10:36:04 AM ArJayKay
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*** In Hasta la Vista, [[NoItemUseForYou no one has weapons]]. The runners are on bicycles, running from hunters driving semi trucks. The runners have a head start, but that doesn't matter, because the trucks are actually faster, and the advanced mobility of the bikes barely makes a difference in that the hunters can simply steer to compensate.
23rd Sep '16 8:09:21 AM case
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* Multiplayer in Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog has always been rather tricky when it comes to balance issues, but by far the worst example of this is [[LethalJokeCharacter Amy Rose]] in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 Battle''. Amy's balancing in that game was that [[WeakButSkilled her raw athletic abilities were weaker than the others, but she was able to obtain and cast power-ups with every ten rings instead of twenty.]] While this is good on paper, the object placement in stages were based around racers using twenty rings. What this meant was that if Amy was able to launch even one attack, [[GameBreaker then she'll probably be able to stunlock her opponent into oblivion]] by being able to spam [[HeartBeatDown Storming Heart]] and [[InterfaceScrew Amy Flash]] at an alarming rate while removing her weak speed by spamming [[NitroBoost Speed Up.]] This is especially bad because Amy Flash, rather than being a TimeStandsStill power like Chaos Control and Time Stop, instead locks the player out of their controls, usually resulting in the poor victim being sent hurtling into a pit or being picked off by a robot, [[CycleOfHurting sent back to the previous checkpoint to wait out the rest of the the Amy Flash, all the while being repeatedly killed by Storming Hearts and getting trapped by another Amy Flash before they can even take another step if they're unlucky.]] The only racer with any kind of defense against this is Metal Sonic with his special attack deflecting Black Shield, but even that is rendered moot because he can't maintain a Black Shield while Amy Flash is in effect. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and to top it all off]] all of this is accompanied by [[MostAnnoyingSound her endlessly shouting "Yeah!" in her overly-perky voice.]]

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* Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog
**
Multiplayer in Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Sonic has always been rather tricky when it comes to balance issues, but by far the worst example of this is [[LethalJokeCharacter Amy Rose]] in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 Battle''. Amy's balancing in that game was that [[WeakButSkilled her raw athletic abilities were weaker than the others, but she was able to obtain and cast power-ups with every ten rings instead of twenty.]] While this is good on paper, the object placement in stages were based around racers using twenty rings. What this meant was that if Amy was able to launch even one attack, [[GameBreaker then she'll probably be able to stunlock her opponent into oblivion]] by being able to spam [[HeartBeatDown Storming Heart]] and [[InterfaceScrew Amy Flash]] at an alarming rate while removing her weak speed by spamming [[NitroBoost Speed Up.]] This is especially bad because Amy Flash, rather than being a TimeStandsStill power like Chaos Control and Time Stop, instead locks the player out of their controls, usually resulting in the poor victim being sent hurtling into a pit or being picked off by a robot, [[CycleOfHurting sent back to the previous checkpoint to wait out the rest of the the Amy Flash, all the while being repeatedly killed by Storming Hearts and getting trapped by another Amy Flash before they can even take another step if they're unlucky.]] The only racer with any kind of defense against this is Metal Sonic with his special attack deflecting Black Shield, but even that is rendered moot because he can't maintain a Black Shield while Amy Flash is in effect. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and to top it all off]] all of this is accompanied by [[MostAnnoyingSound her endlessly shouting "Yeah!" in her overly-perky voice.]]]]
** The mobile game ''Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom'' has fake balance between the characters whose specials involve collecting rings. Sonic's power is to magnetize rings towards him when boost is activated, which may pick up around ten to twenty rings you wouldn't normally reach. Amy's power is to get five rings for every obstacle she smashes when boost is activated, which will conservatively earn twice as much even if you miss some obstacles, and she can be unlocked very early. Moreover, Sonic's power can be completely negated if you happen to run into a Magnet power-up, which does the same thing, while there is no equivalent power-up to Amy's power.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.FakeBalance