Last time around I came down on the side of this not really being a problem. Grounds were that our Competitive Balance
tropes were all about trade-offs either in power for speed, or offense for defense. So we only had four: +Power/-Speed (Mighty Glacier
), -Power/+Speed (Fragile Speedster
), +Offense/-Defense (Glass Cannon
), and -Offense/+Defense (Stone Wall
). That was perfectly fine and there was no problem.
Seeing another Lightning Bruiser
thread get immediately derailed back into the same old discussion, combined with the confusing and contradictory page images that have been added since last time, has made me change my mind. It shouldn't be confusing, but evidently it is.
Our issue is that all the Competitive Balance
tropes that deal with trade offs are focusing on one of three major relevant stats: Speed, Offense, or Defense. Using that system, Fragile Speedster
fits with a pattern carried on by Stone Wall
and Glass Cannon
— one high stat for one low stat. Mighty Glacier
refers to three stats for a high/high/low build, and this throws the system off. People often assume that all
the trade-off balance tropes deal with three stats when only one does (the page images reinforce this assumption), or complain that not all builds are represented, or get otherwise confused.
The general proposed solution to this has been to rework all
the trade-off balance tropes to deal with three stats, creating new tropes to fill the gaps. Here's what that would look like:
- +Offense/+Defense/-Speed - Mighty Glacier, unchanged
- +Offense/-Defense/+Speed - [missing trope]
- +Offense/-Defense/-Speed - Glass Cannon, repurposed to be specifically slow
- -Offense/+Defense/+Speed - [missing trope]
- -Offense/+Defense/-Speed - Stone Wall, repurposed to be specifically slow
- -Offense/-Defense/+Speed - Fragile Speedster, repurposed to be specifically low-offense
Two new tropes must be created, but you lose the confusion over a third stat. The loss of ambiguity is a bit of a double-edged sword in that you can't really refer to builds of a combination low/high/average or low/high/irrelevant-to-this-game. Six tropes is reasonable in size, but trying to incorporate any "average" stat, or a fourth relevant stat, would spawn an unworkably huge number of additional permutations.
On the other hand, we could rework the tropes to fit around two
stats, so long as we have one for all combinations of the three majors: Speed, Offense, and Defense. It would look like this:
You can't refer to three-stat (high/high/low or low/low/high) builds directly, but you can through combination. This also preserves the existence of low/high/average or irrelevant builds, and is also more compatible with the Fragile Speedster
, Glass Cannon
, and Stone Wall
tropes as they are.
But Mighty Glacier
is still problematic. It might not be possible to rework it as only relevant to two stats. In which case, we would need three
new tropes and Mighty Glacier
would have to become a subtype to the new +Attack/-Speed and +Defense/-Speed tropes.
I myself prefer the second solution to the first, it just seems more intuitively obvious to only deal with two stats and the tropes would have an easier time collecting examples. But any other ideas would be really cool too.
edited 15th Sep '12 8:34:56 PM by Tyoria