Crucible’s designers explain how the game’s balance is achieved


So, how does balance work in Crucible? As in any competitive game, balance is important, but it’s kind of a vague and nebulous concept at the best of times. The most recent dispatch from the Amazon Game Studios development team may or may not assuage this, since it’s a quick overview of the high-end concepts going on within the work for balancing the game, but it will hopefully make it clear that there’s more at work than just changing numbers along the way.

Numbers matter, yes, but the entry explains that it’s also about giving each character strengths and weaknesses as well as considering the interplay. (If ranged damage is too low, are melee characters suddenly overpowered? If crowd control is too strong, does that diminish the need for damage?) The current targets for balance adjustments are Ajonah, Earl, Rahi, and Tosoa, but as the host of issues involved in any sort of balance changes should make clear, adjusting how things are balanced is a delicate operation. This is worth noting as the game made a bit of a splash when it went into launch only to be pulled back into beta testing.

Amazon also dropped another dev blog today, this one all about creatures:


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They need to make the game playable before they spend too much time balancing.

Bruno Brito

Crucible’s designers explain how the game’s balance is achieved

“It isn’t.”


Balance in a PvP game is a complete illusion.

Give player A a stick.
Give player B a stick identical to player A.
Place both players in a featureless plane 40 meters apart.

Now give player B ten times the skill at stick fighting than player A will ever be able to achieve.

Player B annihilates player A 100% of the time. Player B NEVER loses to player A. Ever.

Is this game ‘balanced’? Both players have the same weapon. Both have the same terrain. How do you ‘balance’ such a contest? And if you did, what will you do when player C comes along with a totally different skill set that can easily defeat both player A and player B?

There is simply no way to ‘balance’ a game when skill is involved so that unskilled players have a ‘fair’ chance to beat skilled players.

Think of it like chess. The game itself is perfectly balanced. But a Grandmaster is going to wipe the floor with an amateur pretty much every time.

Just my 2c


The argument you’re making is an equity of outcome is required for balance however equality of opportunity is what defines balance in a competitive environment. If both players have equal sticks then the game is balanced in that there’s an equal opportunity for both player to be successful even if the outcomes suggest otherwise.

Instead most of the focus on ensuring that matches are competitive even in a balanced environment usually comes down to some sort of skill based match making style system (IE: Elo rating system, Glicko rating system, etc) when possible. All of this is really separate of game balance.

Where the two often meet is when game developers don’t fully understand the true ingenuity of their player base. Like those same two people with a stick one might just try to whack away with it like a weapon but the other player could figure out that that stick’s range is just far enough they can stand behind a rock and still hit but not be hit back. Is it imbalanced because the second player can hit the first but the first can’t hit back? Is the second player more skilled because they figured that out and is getting more kills and moves up to a higher skill bracket? Incredibly difficult to anticipate the things you couldn’t even conceive of when designing things.

Jo Watt

The game itself in that example is balanced. There is no need for them to factor “player skill” at all. Because anyone who puts time into practicing can become a decent player. Its actually the fun of good (nonP2W) PvP in games, just like PvE, it gives you a diffeeent challenge that makes you strive to do better.

Dug From The Earth

Game devs cant control player skill, only the sticks they give them to use their skill with.

The balance issues that exist in pvp games is usually due to them giving player A a stick, and player B a rock.

Jon Wax

The problem lies between the chair and the controller. Not between the software and the servers. But you’re not allowed to comment on individual skill any longer. Youll get labeled abelist or something akin

Most of these games stopped requiring skill ages ago. Who needs talent when you can just buy your way to the middle?


Can they explain how to get game population?

Dug From The Earth

From when I played before it was yanked, it was anything but balanced.

So I hope all these philosophies and concepts are things they are putting into the revamped version of the game, and not just them listing what was already their built in “balance”