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Games Entertainment

Dealing With Fairness and Balance In Video Games 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-balanced-when-i-always-win dept.
MarkN writes "Video games are subject to a number of balance issues from which traditional games have largely stayed free. It can be hard finding players of comparable skill-level to create even match-ups, diverse gameplay options can quickly become irrelevant if someone finds a broken feature that beats everything else, and some online games make your ability to play competitively a question of how much time and money you've invested in a game, rather than the skill you possess. In this article, I talk about some of the issues relating to fairness and balance in games, in terms of the factors and strategies under the player's control, the game's role in potentially handicapping players, and the role a community of gamers plays in setting standards for how games are to be played. What are your thoughts on managing a 'fair and balanced' gaming experience?"
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Dealing With Fairness and Balance In Video Games

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  • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @05:31AM (#27164203)

    You obviously haven't played online much. The important thing here is latency, not throughput. Any latency under 80ms is more than playable, and a 768k DSL line is more than capable of that. Hell, with fastpath I used to hit ~30ms on a 1M line.

    Just use a server that's in the same country instead of halfway around the world.

  • Re: Blacks vs Jews (Score:3, Informative)

    by RebelWebmaster (628941) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @10:45AM (#27167875)
    He died a bit over a year ago.
  • Re:Bland Games (Score:3, Informative)

    by DreadPiratePizz (803402) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @01:38PM (#27170743)
    Even Starcraft, a game that is remarkably balanced, isn't fully so. Because the races are so different, there are many situations that give the enemy the upper hand. This is why the professional players in Korea do not play on Blizzard's maps, but specially crafted ones to make sure that the playing field is as fair as possible.

    Blizzard's own maps are terribly imbalanced, and in this day and age with the knowledge players have, there is no way a fair game can be played on any of them. Maps with ledges over bases favor Terran. Maps with large or no choke points favor zerg. Maps with no natural expansion or one with no gas penalizes zerg. Maps with island expansions favor terran. Etc. Etc.

    The races are so vastly different, yet on properly designed maps players of high skill can compete as equals, somewhat amazingly.

    As far as Boxer goes whom you mention, modern professional SC is dramatically different than when he was in his prime. Boxer won by clever tricks and unit micromanagement. This won't win you games anymore as a Terran, and Boxer's strategies and build orders don't work against modern opponents very often. Playstyle is always changing, and players are able to adapt to that and keep the game fresh and new. This is in part to the imbalance of the races.

    What's good about Starcraft is that since the races are not necessarily balanced, it's nearly impossible to determine the optimal playstyle or strategy, since those differences allow for amazing flexibility. Thus, the game is vastly different now, than even 2 years ago before things like the Bisu Build. This makes a game fun and interesting.

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