Class Balance

Class balance. In the RPG sense, class balance means that the various different character types (wizard, warrior, druid etc) are “balanced” in the sense that the difficulty of the game, and your character’s ability, remain approximately the same regardless of your choice of class. (and Race: Humans, Elf, Dwarf etc)

Obviously, in an online-, or otherwise multiplayer game, class balance is critically important. If your wizards can always beat your warriors, the game will NOT be fun for people who choose to play warriors. And they won’t switch and play wizards, either: they’ll just stop playing and find another game.

But is class balance critical in a single-player game, like Icefall? In many roguelikes, the classes aren’t balanced: some classes and races are substantially more powerful than others (e.g. High Elves might come complete with bonuses to all their stats, Resist Poison, etc etc – with no downsides), and players are actively encouraged to start with the easier classes.

A third alternative is to balance classes not for ‘difficulty’, but for ‘effort’: you might be free to roll a powerful Immortal instead of a lowly Human, but the Immortal will require twice as much experience to gain every level.

I’m not at the stage of class balancing yet – but I’m thinking about it.

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  1. Hmmm that’s quite a hard one. As a gamer you’re used to quickly discovering and exploiting any enemy (human or AI) weakness you can find, whether it be the predictable boss pattern or constant light foot-trips against balrog. Obviously differences are what make certain classes more fun for some people than others so you want their to be differences but balance the difficulty, I suppose you could just play test all your classes and adjust based on the results. Perhaps you could include some NPC segments where the NPCs you find fight along side you.