vague patch notes

Vague Patch Notes is a meta design column by Eliot Lefebvre. [Follow this column’s RSS feed]

Vague Patch Notes: On balance and differentiation in MMOs

Do you like fighting games? I don’t. Let’s talk about fighting games. But bear with me because you’ll get where this is going.

While I might not personally care much about fighting games, I still wind up spending a lot of time reading about them because that’s just the sort of thing I read for fun. And balancing a fighting game is honestly pretty difficult, thus it’s something that gets talked about a lot. It’s difficult enough that there are, in fact, two different ways to do it.

This does have a lot of bearing on MMOs, though, where balance doesn’t get talked about nearly as much and tends to get talked about in rather dim tones when it is discussed. But in order to understand that you need to understand the difference in balance methods, why World of Warcraft players miss Mark of the Wild, and why balance matters in the first place.

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