Crowfall explains its fun-first class balancing philosophy


Earlier this week, ArtCraft posted up its monthly ACE Q&A for Crowfall, and there are some juicy nuggets to behold within! Design Lead Thomas Blair and Senior Game Designer Mark Halash begin by dishing on class design, basically explaining that the studio’s philosophy is to make the classes as cool as possible and then smack them with balance based on what players min-max, all to avoid a “vanilla” experience.

“Obviously we’re going to use best practices and not make anything that’s going to be too terribly broken,” Halash says. “But we’re also not going to be like, ‘Well we’re not going to let you do A and B’ – we’re going to see if A and B are broken first before we take any sort of [action].”

The duo also talk about nerfs for overpowered teleports, combat iteration, race-and-class restrictions, and connected accounts (spoilers: That’s not multiple accounts; it’s just social media account linking). The whole shebang is below.


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You know you’re taking the whole balance thing out of proportion when you have to nerf social media linking. I never knew that was actually a thing, haha.

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Lights and Music

I thought this game was supposed to be going into beta sometime early this year (2018), no?


I wish them the best of luck in this endeavor of “fun first” class balancing. My experience has been that he who screams loudest on the forums wins the class balance battle. If you’ve got droves of people on your forums and reddit decrying imbalance in your game, even if in your in-house control tests everything is working as intended and “fun”, what are you going to do? Leave it alone and tell your customer base to take a hike? Unlikely.

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Is it a law that game designers can not have normal hair?

…. like is that part of the interview screening process? Like if you don’t walk into the building with the hairstyle of an Anime Villain; you don’t walk into the building?

Jeremy Barnes

MMOs are way too scared about balance before fun. You have to balance, but they worry so much about exploits, cheating, overpowered combinations, etc that they often balance the fun out of games.