Do you actually care about Balance?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Ssalarn wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:


The thing is - and this has come up a lot when I've been working - if you create a balanced game, the people who don't mind or even enjoy imbalance are never going to notice.
This is asserted a lot on these boards, but I've yet to see it backed up by anything but repetition.

I'm just going to clip the unnecessarily inflammatory bit out of there and address the meat.

The proof is all over the place. Literally every Tier 3 class (Alchemist, Bard, Inquisitor, Hunter, etc.) is a testament to that statement. The evidence is plain within the system itself, it's only outliers like the Wizard (too strong/versatile) and Fighter (no real versatility, weak chassis) that create the issues. You never see posts about how so and so's bard made what's his name's inquisitor feel bad.

That doesn't even touch on the idea that "people who enjoy imbalance are never going to notice". And stating that I've been insulted and wishing for better discourse is hardly inflammatory.


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So, assuming the full caster get their most WTF broken things nerfed and the rogues and fighter get improved. Without any mention of 4e, what exactly would ruin the fun for those people?


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F!!$ game balance. That's a neverending battle. I rank "game balance discussion" up there with "DPR calculations"—I get that some people see it as fun. I get that. I do not find it fun, and it just leads nowhere. Quest of futility.

I care about party balance. If the rogue in the group isn't able to keep up, and he's bothered by it, I'll consider making changes. But if he's the only sneaky skills-inclined guy in the group and everyone else is wizards and fighters, maybe he doesn't mind. He's got a niche in that party, so game balance doesn't matter two turtle eggs.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

blahpers wrote:
And stating that I've been insulted and wishing for better discourse is hardly inflammatory.

Considering that many people have mentioned how this is possible and your response was that you've "yet to see it backed up by anything but repetition and insults", yeah it's inflammatory. Lies and arrogant dismissiveness usually are. It was an insult to myself and numerous other posters who've done everything from reference balance points in the current system, talk about examples of balanced materials in similar systems, to writing 3pp materials demonstrating ways it can be done.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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blahpers wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:


The thing is - and this has come up a lot when I've been working - if you create a balanced game, the people who don't mind or even enjoy imbalance are never going to notice.
This is asserted a lot on these boards, but I've yet to see it backed up by anything but repetition.

I'm just going to clip the unnecessarily inflammatory bit out of there and address the meat.

The proof is all over the place. Literally every Tier 3 class (Alchemist, Bard, Inquisitor, Hunter, etc.) is a testament to that statement. The evidence is plain within the system itself, it's only outliers like the Wizard (too strong/versatile) and Fighter (no real versatility, weak chassis) that create the issues. You never see posts about how so and so's bard made what's his name's inquisitor feel bad.

That doesn't even touch on the idea that "people who enjoy imbalance are never going to notice".

Sure it does. There's tons of classes that are assymetrically balanced in the game, and people love them without having to go around going "Gee whiz Steve, aren't these guys well balanced?". The absence is the proof; there are no issues so people don't address them. That's pretty much exactly what "the people who don't mind or even enjoy imbalance are never going to notice" means. If I had a new Wizard (and all other full casters) on a reduced progression with problematic spells trimmed out, it would still look like the game most everyone is playing, but far better balanced. It's visible in the way that there aren't explosive threads about the materials that are balanced; again, the absence is the proof.


blahpers wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Liranys wrote:

Anyhow, I just like having fun and I like my PCs to have fun and as long as that's happening, who cares whether the game is balanced or not?

This whole "the game won't be fun any more if it's balanced =(" farce has gone beyond being amusing and into being annoying.
Not everybody shares your opinions. That doesn't make those people wrong. If you're annoyed by that, that's on you, not them.

It's not so much about opinion, here.

"I don't think the game needs to be balanced" is an opinion. I don't agree, but hey, it's your opinion.

"I like imbalance" is an opinion. One I think is more harmful to the game, but you're entitled to it.

"Balance is detrimental to the game" may be an opinion...but it skirts the line of outright fallacy.

"Balance at all costs" may be detrimental, but balance is part of the core of any game, no matter what genre. Strategic imbalance is often used to stave off stalemates, but every game is balanced in SOME way, even if only by things being unbalanced in a specific way so they lean on each other and prop everything up.

Improved balance doesn't make any game less fun unless someone's only metric for fun is being better than someone else, or getting satisfaction from choosing a better option.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:

F~+* game balance. That's a neverending battle. I rank "game balance discussion" up there with "DPR calculations"—I get that some people see it as fun. I get that. I do not find it fun, and it just leads nowhere. Quest of futility.

I care about party balance. If the rogue in the group isn't able to keep up, and he's bothered by it, I'll consider making changes. But if he's the only sneaky skills-inclined guy in the group and everyone else is wizards and fighters, maybe he doesn't mind. He's got a niche in that party, so game balance doesn't matter two turtle eggs.

Game balance directly leads to party balance.

If the game is balanced, there's no risk of choosing an option that is completely overshadowed by another option in the group.

Were the game balanced, a "Sneaky skill party" consisting of a Rogue, Slayer, Inquisitor, and Alchemist would be possible without anyone stepping on anyone else' toes (and it's quite telling that in that party, each class fills a niche besides the Rogue).

Party balance is small scale, and is merely compensating for overall game imbalance.

Game balance eliminates the need for such compensation.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Since it seems we can't have this discussion without excessive grar, I'm locking this one.

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