How, exactly, do you "fix" a balance problem before large numbers of players have actually played the game? That is how you find out if there *is* a balance problem in the first place.
I have a theory.
Okay, there's the game and then there's the "metagame", right? The game is composed of the rules and skillsets the creators intend
to foster based on the build of the game. The metagame is the set of rules and skills the game actually
fosters after players adopt strategies to win.
When companies "rebalance" a game, they're revising the metagame to more closely match what they wanted the game to be. For example, if their intent was for execution to not be an important skill to win, then the discovery of a sure-death combo that can only be done by a small number of dextrous people even after
months/years of practice is not conducive to their game design. It may evolve into a completely palpable metagame, but not the game they intended to support. Thus, they patch any and everything which goes beyond the intended game.
edited 16th May '11 1:49:04 PM by KingZeal