Main Competitive Balance Discussion

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MyTimingIsOff
Topic
07:04:17 AM Mar 11th 2015
edited by MyTimingIsOff
  • Frieza Clan members are Fragile Speedsters: They don't hit as hard as the others, but they move more quickly. Their speed also gets boosted at 50% HP.

Fragile Speedster is for characters that are fast and have poor defense, not poor offense.

acrobox restored this previously deleted example claiming "Fragile Speedsters are implicitly weak hitters by default." which has no basis in fact. Fragile Speedsters can just as easily be Glass Cannons, and they often are. They can have poor offense, but that's not a part of the trope. With no mention of the characters' defense in the example, it doesn't fit.
JJMAJR
07:37:11 AM Mar 11th 2015
edited by JJMAJR
Just make it either/or. A fast character can easily have high defense if their damage potential sucks balls.

For example, mitigation tanks.
SeptimusHeap
07:50:11 AM Mar 11th 2015
That edit reason is characteristic of that thinking that all of these tropes are part of a so-called "offense/defense/speed" triangle or somesuch. I am inclined to disagree with it.
hbi2k
09:55:33 AM Mar 11th 2015
Agree with @Timing. There needs to be some mention of the character's relative staying power for the example to count.

The name, laconic, and trope description of Fragile Speedster all agree with each other and are quite clear. FRAGILE. Not "weak." FRAGILE. The description specifies that it can and often does overlap with Glass Cannon and the example section is replete with examples.

You can't "just make it either/or" without redefining the trope, which can certainly be done, but the discussion section of a related trope isn't the place to do it.
acrobox
11:03:57 AM Mar 11th 2015
edited by acrobox
The offense/defense/speed triangle went out a long time ago when we realized Three-Stat System didn't have to be those Three Stats.

Fragile Speedsters are implicitly weak because the definition points out its overlap with things like Spam Attack and other quick attack styles that have low output but high attack rate. And points out that having high offense will usually be qualified by overlapping with Glass Cannon IMPLYING that on its own it has low offense.

The definition of power and mobility changes from game to game, and Trope Drift or decay or redefinition overtime has pit Fragile Speedster and Mighty Glacier as a foil pair. I did wick checks that prove it last time we had this argument.

That said Glacier and Speedster are still written like they're governed by the old offense/defense/speed triangle and need to be updated to fit how Competitive Balance is viewed now. I'll make another push for redefintion.
hbi2k
11:50:54 AM Mar 11th 2015
edited by hbi2k
Well, that's the thing: it can overlap with quick attack rate / low-output styles, or it can overlap with Glass Cannon, meaning that on its own it IMPLIES neither. At least as it's currently defined, and the examples bear that out.

(Edit: Note that Spam Attack only specifies a barrage of fast attacks; it doesn't say anything about those attacks being collectively or even individually weak. So even when Fragile Speedster does overlap with Spam Attack, that doesn't stop it from also overlapping with Glass Cannon.)

If you go the redefinition route, you'll probably need to accompany it with a name change, because "Fragile Speedster" indicates fragility but not weakness.
JJMAJR
Topic
04:27:12 PM Mar 4th 2015
I wanted to discuss the nature of competitive balance and the Stealth Expert trope. Since this page is one about <i>balance</i> in games and such I would like to bring up the topic that has been causing conflict between me and two users.

I wanted to discuss the relationship between stealth and brute force in a game balance/design perspective. I honestly find that Mighty Glacier stealth combinations tend to be game breakers in the games that they are found in. In order to prevent this the combination either dramatically lowers firerate (meaning less shots per second) or dramatically reduces damage of individual shots. Mighty Glacier rocket stealth combinations are unheard of, but would also enter the Game Breaker range as well.

And if health was reduced for a Mighty Glacier class, that would make them a Glass Cannon, for obvious reasons.

I want input for this. I wanted to assert that a Stealth Expert that can thrive in direct combat with other enemies would be unacceptible, and unfortunately I am getting disagreements with many others in respect to this point.
hbi2k
07:06:37 AM Mar 5th 2015
edited by hbi2k
It's just plain not part of the definition of Stealth Expert. A Stealth Expert is "a guy who's good at stealth." Full stop.

I don't disagree with you that often, as a part of game balance, a character who is an expert at stealth is also made either squishy or poor at dealing damage outside of stealth, but it's not universally the case and it's not part of the definition of the trope.

There are, for example, plenty of single-player stealth games like Dishonored in which the player character is more than capable in combat outside of stealth. In these cases, Competitive Balance is not an issue because there are no other player characters to be competitive against.

There are also plenty of non-gameplay examples like Batman. Batman is undeniably a Stealth Expert; he is also a master of hand-to-hand combat. Depending on the setting and continuity, sometimes he's relatively squishy (compared to a powered hero like Superman, for example) and sometimes he's not (in Batman Begins, for example, where he wears bulletproof body armor and nobody has superpowers). Being stealthy is a core part of his character; squishiness or lack of offense is not.

Now, I think that the concept of "sneaky but squishy" and/or "sneaky but weak" is probably tropable, but you can't just redefine an existing trope that way by fiat. You'd need to either create a new trope in YKTTW, or take the existing trope to TRS to redefine it. Personally, I'd be in favor of the latter, since as of right now Stealth Expert is kind of under-defined and plagued by Zero Context Examples. Also, it doesn't seem to be very well distinguished from The Sneaky Guy, which has a lot of the same problems, so they could probably both stand to be redefined in relation to one another.
JJMAJR
09:37:20 PM Mar 6th 2015
This trope page is about the balance between archetypes and tropes of characters or classes. It wasn't about listing different tropes all over the place. For example, I would easily consider a Ditto Fighter to be a gimmick trope rather than a foil trope because in a competitive balance perspective he would often need to waste his first strike on turning into someone that is more effective than his real form from a balance perspective. He would be perfectly free to choose how he would acquire his weaknesses and strengths at some cost that I cannot directly associate with. However a Stealth Expert from a Competitive Balance perspective is more of a brute force no-no because that if he was capable of executing someone while remaining indestructible he would easily dominate games.

This trope page is about balance between classes, not about listing every trope you see and just going by the trope's definition rather than the context of the page itself. A Stealth Expert from the page's context needs to have a lack of direct firepower to avoid game-breaker territory. From a regular perspective this encumbrance is unnecessary.
hbi2k
08:38:47 AM Mar 9th 2015
Great, but you can't redefine Stealth Expert that way without going through the proper channels. If it doesn't fit the page, then don't list it on the page. If it doesn't fit in the part of the page specifically about archetypes that balance a strength with a corresponding weakness, then don't list it there. Don't shoehorn it because you feel like something similar should be there.
hbi2k
08:51:44 AM Mar 9th 2015
edited by hbi2k
Let me put it another way: to be competitively balanced, a Stealth Expert needs a weakness. That weakness doesn't have to be lack of direct firepower specifically. It could be a high unit cost, it could be an exploitable Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors weakness, it could be a lack of mobility while in stealth. It could be lots of different things.

Since the specific weakness is not specified in the definition, we don't lump it in with the tropes that are defined by one specific strength vs. one specific weakness (e.g. Glass Cannon, strong offense / weak defense), but put it in the second list.
JJMAJR
09:21:40 PM Mar 9th 2015
You didn't even look at my original post when you made the third comment here at all, did you?

I have said that I have found Stealth Experts that can thrive in direct combat to be a game-breaker, especially considering that they always have a first strike advantage unless they do something retarded, for which they should be punished for. If the US gotten a first strike advantage against the Soviets for their nukes, and it was clear and decisive enough, considering how powerful nuclear bombs are and how much of an effect they could have in a war zone obviously the US would have won by nuking the shit out of the communists.

In a competitive balance perspective, a Stealth Expert that can play well in direct combat and overpower others in direct combat is a retarded concept.
hbi2k
08:51:52 AM Mar 10th 2015
That's all fascinating, but none of it has anything to do with the placement of the trope on this page.
JJMAJR
04:19:14 PM Mar 10th 2015
Yes it does. The first strike advantage of a stealth expert combined with his ability to thrive in direct combat directly contributes to my view of a Stealth Expert being placed in the foil sections of the page. You cannot whittle down a Stealth Expert because the Stealth Expert has abilities that are supposed to make it able to attack first before you are aware of his position and whittle you down instead. And you cannot directly engage someone that is directly built for brute force and has Mighty Glacier tendencies. You use a Lightning Bruiser to justify a brute-force stealth expert, then you just made two classes of which the regular interpretation of a stealth expert might as well be facing a fragile speedster. Either you have a Game Breaker or you have no Mighty Glacier Stealth Expert at all.
hbi2k
09:49:52 AM Mar 11th 2015
edited by hbi2k
I now officially have no idea where you're even going with this. This is seriously not as complicated as you're making it.

Stealth Expert = Guy who's good at stealth.

Boom. Done. Full stop.
JJMAJR
01:46:05 AM Mar 12th 2015
edited by JJMAJR
Competitive Balance = How competitive games balance character or class archetypes.

Done. Full stop.

I could do that too.
SeptimusHeap
04:47:57 AM Mar 12th 2015
Any Competitive Balance considerations of the Stealth Expert trope would belong on an Analysis/ page.
hbi2k
07:48:49 AM Mar 12th 2015
^^ I'm not claiming anything different. I'm not trying to de facto redefine tropes outside the proper channels. You are. Apples and oranges.
KirbyRider
Topic
11:06:16 AM Jul 29th 2012
Which program was used to make these triangles?
Telcontar
11:13:50 AM Jul 29th 2012
Don't know, but it would be fairly easy to do in Inkscape. This IP thread chose it; it might say in there.
Earnest
03:30:34 PM Aug 14th 2012
edited by Earnest
I used Microsoft Excel's graph function to make the triangles, and imported a special comicbook font. The collage was tricky, I used a Photoshop like program called Gimp to resize and place the individual graphs together into a larger pic.
KirbyRider
Topic
04:18:02 PM Jul 15th 2012
edited by KirbyRider
Pokémon brought us speedy Pokémon! Some had attack the price of defense (i.e. Archeops and Deoxys), some the other way around (i.e. Tentacruel and Jumpluff), or some without attack or defense. The offensive was listed as a "Glass Ninja", the defensive a "Speedy Stone Wall".
ThePersonas
Topic
03:50:20 AM Jun 24th 2012
We have a trope for excelling with high attack, one for high speed, and another for high defense; we have one for excelling in all three, one average in all three, and one excelling with high attack and defense. Shouldn't we have a trope for excelling with high attack and speed, and perhaps another for high speed and defense?
JJMAJR
07:27:01 PM Mar 1st 2015
High Speed+Defense=Evasion Tank. Sort of. Don't know about high attack and speed, sadly.
acrobox
09:50:22 PM Mar 1st 2015
edited by acrobox
That was under the old system. The tropes arent about the three stats really they're about foil pairs.
timeaesnyx
Topic
04:51:14 AM May 14th 2012
perhaps we could add implacable man and juggernaut and differing levels of mighty glacier.
Haven
Topic
12:31:08 PM Jun 13th 2010
Amused by the Leaning on the Fourth Wall pothole in the page quote. If someone tried that in OOTS, they'd topple.
Haven
Topic
12:31:07 PM Jun 13th 2010
Amused by the Leaning on the Fourth Wall pothole in the page quote. If someone tried that in OOTS, they'd topple.
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