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  • "MelBrooksKA" started this thread

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Tuesday, November 25th 2014, 12:40am

What does overpowered REALLY mean?

Question:

Hello there, I just thought I would pose a question to you guys and ask if you guys think there is a quantitative way to measure weapon and/or game balancing, what your guy's personal connotations are on what qualifies as overpowered, balanced, or underpowered, and if there is no clear cut definition for balancing, does that mean that arguments using the phrases qualitatively are well supported or not.

Backstory:

3 years ago-

But no, seriously, I can't help but hear the phrases "overpowered" and the like in sooooo many conversations and complaints as something akin to the ultimate answer with out any thought given to what they mean. When someone says "DMR's are overpowered (insert derogatory comment for person using DMRs)" and I respond with "(Insert derogatory message for person complaining about DMSs), DMR's are underpowered if anything, they shoot slower than molases and do basically no damage to their target...", this doesn't seem like a very valid argument because there doesn't seem to be any grounds to prove whether or not a weapon, gameplay feature, or map is balanced or not but yet these phrases seem to pop up all the time in arguments. So I want to hear your guy's opinions on the matter.
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Tuesday, November 25th 2014, 12:52am

Something's OP if it has no counters (besides itself) and/or if it makes all other options useless in comparison
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Tuesday, November 25th 2014, 12:59am

Overpowered means it is more powerful than other examples. In the case of Battlefield, a weapon is considered overpowered if it is more 'powerful' than other weapons in it's class.

For example, the Bow is fairly UNDERpowered because it isn't quite as effective as the other carbines. [Side note, why is the Phantom not a DMR?]

The M16A3 a la BF3 was considered overpowered because it's ease of use and effectiveness was more so than that of other weapons in it's class.

The ACE-23 is considered 'balanced' because unlike the M16A3, it's drawbacks and advantages even it out to just be fairly 'meh' across all situations, rather than very good in all situations.


Think of 'Overpowered' as a way of saying something is UNbalanced in a positive way, making it exploitable to get an unfair advantage over other players.


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Tuesday, November 25th 2014, 1:01am

There is no way to numerically quantify something as overpowered. Sometimes there is a number that sticks out like a sore thumb, but a lot of OP assessment from players actually means "too easy to use effectively."

Thus, while KDR is the main focus of most players, something that is very easy to use and prevents death can be just as OP if it is easy to use. See body armor in the perk trees before these patches or tank smoke in BF3. Still, much of it comes down to feel.

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Tuesday, November 25th 2014, 1:18am

[Side note, why is the Phantom not a DMR?]


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This post by "CobaltRose" (Tuesday, November 25th 2014, 1:19am) has been deleted by the author himself (Tuesday, November 25th 2014, 1:20am) with the following reason: eh I'm not gonna derail this. Everyone seems to have it covered.

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Tuesday, November 25th 2014, 1:21am

The technician definition is exactly what HwanZike said but the problem is numerically quantifying such an idea is really hard.

If something has no counter but itself it's fairly obvious and easy to spot, often why you'll almost never see something so brokenly OP in a game, jets are borderline in almost all Battlefields though, and in BF2 they were 100% overpowered in this sense.

Unless something is heads above the other options in class it's much harder to say if it's overpowered or not. You can have gun or ability just blow everything out of the water but that's often spotted early enough to not be a huge issue, the M60 in BC2 would be such an example that shipped to retail in such a state. Outside of something of that magnitude it's muddy. Was the M16 in BF3 really OP or overused? It's really hard to say as other weapons were perfectly viable in the AR class.

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Tuesday, November 25th 2014, 1:48am

You can absolutely quantify whether or not something is OP in an RTS or MOBA.

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Tuesday, November 25th 2014, 2:48am

Everyone else has it pretty much covered in regards to Battlefield but if you feel like doing some reading here is a good link to some literature on the subject

http://www.sirlin.net/ptw-book/what-should-be-banned

Also, all those articles are worth the read. If you lose the link in the future its in Noctyrn's sig.
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  • "MelBrooksKA" started this thread

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Tuesday, November 25th 2014, 3:16am

I should probably clarify "Quantitative". When I say that, it isn't meant to mean some magical number like a scale of 1 to 10, how balanced is this weapon", it is meant in more of the sense of is it possible to look at the data and measure something like balancing.

Say for example, we have several theoretical models to measure this on, such as one that looks at a quantification of how people feel about the weapon, e.g. looking at how often people use the weapon as compared to the amount of complaints about it and comparing that with other weapons, and another model looking at the direct stats of say how the TTK compares to how fast the gun reloads or a similar model that looks at the expected learning curve of the weapon compared to how well everyone preforms with that weapon.

Let's say that we have two very similar guns, in fact so similar that the only thing that is different is that one takes one less shot to kill the other. In the situation that both guns fire at each other at the same time, we could say that the gun with better damage output will always win and therefor Overpowers the other gun, which is under the power of the other. But lets say the lower damaging one is buffed to have a higher ROF which puts it on par with the overpowering gun's TTK. Could we say quantitatively looking at the stats that these guns are balanced?

In all honesty, I actually ask this more rhetorically than literally since I know what I personally think on the subject and this thread is meant more to asking the participants to really think about the subject of balancing.

Keeping the above in mind, I can see many of you think that Balancing comes down to feeling, so I am wondering if you guys could answer my second question as to whether this means "Balancing" can be a valid argument for or against game features, weapons, or maps?

Also something I was thinking might be of interest is possibly a different way of thinking of balancing. I recently listened to an audio book on Richard Dawkis's The Selfish Gene and something I found extremely fascinating was the idea of Economically Stable Situations and Prisoner's Dilemma in inter species relationships in which the situation is not necessarily the most advantageous strategy of living but it the most stable one in terms of exploitable. I am not sure if these could fight in the world of balancing we are talking about, but it might be something to chew on. :S
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