Monday, October 22, 2007

Dynamic Balancing of Class Selection

Originally Posted by Random Redshirt:
So what do people think the imbalance might be in STO? Too many engineers? Too many security? Not enough Medics? It's intriguing to think about.
As someone who's been a designer of complex systems for many years, I favor self-regulating systems over ones where somebody has to remember to tinker with it to get it to work "right."

In terms of character classes, that translates into a preference for creating a class selection system that dynamically adjusts the reasons for people to want to choose underrepresented classes, as opposed to applying the dreaded nerf bat to overrepresented classes.

Example: When players are reviewing which department to choose for their character, let the game automatically calculate and offer a bonus of some kind for each department, and base the size of that bonus on the number of characters currently assigned to that department such that underrepresented departments will have the biggest bonus. As the population shifts, the bonuses will automatically shift as well.

Of course this isn't a perfect solution, but so far I'm not seeing any reason to think it would be worse than the more arbitrary ways of correcting class imbalances in other games today.