The Daily Grind: What’s the worst way to balance things in an MMO?

Different. Yet the same.

When I wrote my recent piece about Cosmic Break Universal, I found through a bit of digging into fan coverage that the game had a pretty distinct approach to balance. To wit, it didn’t bother with balance at all, pushing things live that were obviously broken and quickly deformed the metagame, then launching new powered-up things that could compete, leading to the ultimate state of affairs wherein the developers are just rebooting the whole thing rather than dealing with more power creep.

This is not a good approach, obviously. But there’s no game that really does a great job of balancing things; a lot of the titles that we accept as being fun to play have outstanding balance issues that are slow to be addressed or just aren’t addressed. World of Warcraft has its wild overcorrections and planned removals of systems, Star Wars: The Old Republic has its major spec disparities, and so forth. So today I’m curious about people’s thoughts not about the game that does it best, but the worst. What’s the worst way to balance things in an MMO?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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